VICTORIA — The British Columbia government has made the switch to providing COVID-19 updates on a weekly rather than daily basis, saying the change aligns with a shift away from a case-management model to a surveillance model.

A Health Ministry bulletin says the weekly reports will focus on identifying meaningful changes in key COVID-19 measurements and trends over time.

It also says that reporting on deaths is changing to count all deaths that occurred within 30 days of the person’s positive lab result, regardless of whether the underlying cause of death was found to be linked to COVID-19.

Until now, whenever someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19 died, their death was reviewed to determine whether the cause was the infection. 

The ministry says the new, “broader definition” means some deaths will be reported that aren’t actually related to COVID-19. 

It says the reports will be posted on the B.C. Centre for Disease Control website on Thursdays with data spanning the previous Sunday to Saturday.

There will likely be a one-time increase in the number of people ever hospitalized with the move to “broader administrative data,” it notes.

Information on COVID-19 cases will be based on a person’s first molecular or PCR test through the province’s medical services plan, the ministry bulletin says.

The first weekly report covering March 27 to April 2 shows 11 people died, a measure of “30-day all-cause mortality,” while 193 people were admitted to hospital with COVID-19 and a total of 1,706 new cases were confirmed.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 7, 2022.

The Canadian Press