When are Island Health and the other health authorities going to be up-front with the media about COVID-19 cases?
We’re almost a year and a half into this thing and there’s still more speculation and confusion than anything because the lack of facts leads to misinformation.
A case in point came with the cases cited at Camp Qwanoes in Crofton last week. This newspaper found out about it and sent an email Aug. 24 to Island Health where all information is supposed to be dispensed from rather than the media contacting facilities or persons involved directly.
Island Health replied that there was ‘no outbreak at Camp Qwanoes.’
Two days later, another news outlet reported an ‘outbreak’ at the camp involving upwards of 20 children campers plus staff members. When Island Health was confronted again with this information and asked for an explanation, the response was “the statement stands. We did not declare an outbreak at the camp. That is the language the camp and CHEK used. We do not confirm details about specific cases.”
Now we’re just getting into a silly game of semantics. We’ve all come to understand COVID exposures and that usually involves just one or two individuals potentially exposing others to the virus and monitoring them for symptoms.
With this new Delta virus and cases climbing dramatically again, it’s a whole new ball game. And with the numbers involved at Camp Qwanoes, aren’t those considerable enough to be calling it an ‘outbreak’?
Island Health in its explanation did not even acknowledge there were any cases.
From the beginning, the public has been lobbying the health authorities to furnish COVID information in communities for the protection of everyone. But there seems to be another agenda here and the media is not able to properly do its job under these circumstances.
It’s certainly understandable to not identify individuals with COVID for privacy reasons. But Island Health needed to say, ‘yes, there were cases’ at Camp Qwanoes, at least, without mincing words.
That’s not identifying any persons, just letting the community know to be even more cautious and diligent about COVID concerns hitting close to home.