Thunder Bay – COVID-19 Update – Both the Thunder Bay District Health Unit and the Northwestern Health Unit are stating that due to changes in COVID-19 testing has been limited due to new guidance.
In Manitoba the true number of COVID-19 cases is likely far higher — as much eight to 10 times that, according to the Deputy Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Jazz Awtal. “There’s lots of cases we don’t know about. Historically, with the … Delta [coronavirus variant], we knew for every case we identified, we missed out on four,” Awtal said at a news conference. “With this Omicron variant, likely for every case we identified, we’re missing out maybe eight, maybe 10 cases.”
This combination of factors has led to confusion over what the actual numbers could be with COVID-19 reporting.
The Winnipeg Free Press reported, “As many as 41 per cent of Winnipeggers might have active COVID-19, military modelling suggests — one week after the province acknowledged it can no longer accurately record the soaring number of cases.
“That estimated prevalence is based on the typical ratio of known cases to asymptomatic ones that don’t ever get tested, the timelines people incubate the novel coronavirus and when they are most infectious to others, according to a dashboard designed by Defence Research and Development Canada, a government agency that advises the Canadian Armed Forces.”
A Department of National Defence spokesperson tells NetNewsLedger, “We provide this tool primarily for the use of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) to understand their local risk environment in Canada and internationally and not for general public health purposes.
“We do not have a role in advising government outside of the CAF. The tool was made available globally to provide easy access to CAF medical advisors irrespective of their location and as part of the Government of Canada open data initiative. Understanding that only a fraction of the COVID-19 infections are detected through testing, numbers found in this model are not case numbers, but rather estimates based on existing epidemiological information. In short, it is a tool used to estimate trends in prevalence and not actual cases”.
Using the information the Defence Research and Development site shows, The Winnipeg Free Press reports, “In data updated Tuesday morning, the dashboard suggests some 41.4 per cent of the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority’s population has active COVID-19, amounting to 326,317 people.
“Officially, Manitoba has 22,605 lab-confirmed, active COVID-19 cases in Winnipeg — though the province says that’s vastly under-reported, as PCR lab tests are being rationed to select groups.”
Using the data, is suggests the COVID-19 numbers across Thunder Bay District have climbed to between 16 and 21 per cent of the population.
The numbers in the Northwestern Health Unit catchment area are similar.
Those numbers would if they are accurate put COVID-19 numbers into the 20,000 case range, if the data is accurate.
Thunder Bay City Manager Norm Gale tells NetNewsLedger, “I can offer no data as to the prevalence of COVID-19 in Thunder Bay; nor can I comment on the website you’re sharing with us.”
Developing… This breaking story will be updated…
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