B.C. health officials release true hospital numbers after public pressure
Penny Daflos
CTV News Vancouver Multi-Media Journalist

Updated Sept. 24, 2021 2:28 p.m. EDT
Published Sept. 24, 2021 2:09 p.m. EDT

Following intense public pressure and scrutiny, British Columbia health officials have finally revealed a more accurate account of how many patients are in hospital due to COVID-19.

More than a week after CTV News asked for the numbers and was first to report on the dual accounting methods, the province now says that as of Tuesday, there were 152 additional patients in hospital due to COVID but who were no longer infectious and therefore had “discontinued isolation.”

On Thursday, it reported 330 infectious and still in hospital, 148 of them in intensive care.

So in fact, British Columbia has more than 480 people in hospital due to COVID-19, both infectious and non-infectious; the province of Manitoba has been reporting its figures this way for some time.

“For most cases, isolation is discontinued after 10 days, provided there is no fever and symptoms are improving,” wrote the government in a press release after failing to respond to CTV’s multiple attempts for clarification and statistics. “These same requirements are in effect in Ontario, Alberta and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the U.S. In B.C., for serious cases, the guideline is 20 days.”

Dr. Bonnie Henry had sidestepped CTV News’ question on the matter on Tuesday, refusing to give the total number and pointing out they’d always kept two sets of COVID-19 patient counts...