Maritime provinces are moving to weekly COVID-19 data updates, as restrictions continue to be eased in the region.
Starting Monday, Nova Scotia will simply update its dashboard and send out weekly news releases – the next one is scheduled for March 10.
Prince Edward Island is now reporting a seven-day case average, and New Brunswick — which stopped making daily news releases a month ago — plans to no longer use its dashboard after restrictions are lifted on March 14. .
The reporting of COVID-19 data has changed two years after the pandemic began in Canada.
The general public is likely to see smaller numbers on their newsfeeds and social media.
“What I think people need to realize, even if the authorities are not reporting cases daily, is that the virus is still there,” epidemiologist Zahid Butt said.
Butt says that data reporting is important for public health in order to show transparency. And while it doesn’t happen daily, twice weekly would be appropriate, he said.
“We need to know, right? We need to know what is happening around us in terms of the virus,” he said. “We need to know whether there is community transmission, hospitalized Or not.”
Some shared on social media how they felt about the change. Many said it would be good for their mental health.
“Fantastic, will do wonders for my blood pressure,” said one.
But others still want to know.
“I would like to know the numbers as it will help me make a decision on whether to continue with the mask,” said another.
Dr Mark McMillan, president of the New Brunswick Medical Society, says that no matter what public health does, health networks – Horizon and VitaLit – will continue to track COVID-19 within hospitals.
“And also note that when you come to the hospital, you will still need one of these (masks). There will be no unmasking in the hospital for very long,” he said.
The COVID-19 dashboard will no longer be used when restrictions are lifted in New Brunswick on March 14.
“Instead, COVID-19 information will be shared and reported on a weekly basis in the Communicable Diseases section of the public health website,” the province said in a statement. “Public Health will continue to provide guidance on how people can reduce their exposure as restrictions are lifted.”
From March 7, families and school staff will no longer be required to self-report cases of COVID-19 at their school.
Flavio Ninov, a spokesman for New Brunswick’s Department of Education, said, “Families will still need to notify the school of any absences by illness or otherwise, and we will continue to track student absences to monitor the situation with Public Health.” Will keep.”
Dr Macmillan said what is happening inside hospitals will continue to be important. He is still encouraging the general public to keep COVID-19 in mind, especially during the transition period.
“Use your judgement, be cautious, but at the same time – it’s time to open up a little and enjoy life more,” he said.