Public Health Sudbury cuts back on information it releases about positive COVID-19 cases
SUDBURY -- Public Health Sudbury & Districts has announced it will no longer release details of local residents who have tested positive for COVID-19.
Health authorities used to list age ranges, gender and other details of travel, but not no longer. The health unit said it’s for privacy reasons.
“We are health information custodians, we have to protect the privacy of individuals,” said Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, medical officer of health.
“They have to trust us when they come forward with their information. And then we also have to take action to protect public health. So where necessary or important, of course we would reveal more information, but as a general rule, this is a change in our practice for individual cases.”
With students back to class this week, a COVID-19 outbreak in a school will only be declared if two or more students test positive within two weeks of each other. There also has to be evidence the cases have some link to each other and that the infection appeared at the school.
“It is really critically important to screen for symptoms every morning when you brush your teeth, and to stay home if you are ill,” said Sutcliffe.
Public Health Sudbury & Districts reported Wednesday someone tested positive for COVID, making it the 100th case in its coverage area district since pandemic began in March.
“I’m sorry to see this” said Sutcliffe.
“We have had a dip in cases across the board, not just our area. We have to keep going. In the long haul, we just have to accept that this is with us and we have to learn to live with it.”