Local public health units continue to report more COVID-19 deaths than Ontario's tally
TORONTO -- Ontario's local public health units report 75 people have died from COVID-19.
The data gathered by CP24 and CTV News Toronto on Thursday morning includes the total number of deaths reported by all of the province’s 34 local public health units.
The number is higher than that issued by Ontario’s Ministry of Health, which on Thursday morning added 16 deaths to its official tally, putting the total number at 53.
The information from Ontario's 34 public health units – the main entities collecting data, isolating patients and monitoring the spread of the virus – indicated additional people died in Toronto, Haldimand-Norfolk, Durham Region and York Region since the data was collected on the day prior.
As well, two additional deaths linked to an outbreak at a long-term care home in Bobcaygeon, Ont. were confirmed by the facility to CTV News on Thursday morning. The total number of deaths at the facility is now 16 and the wife of a resident has also died.
On Wednesday afternoon, Ontario’s Associate Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Barbara Yaffe explained the discrepancy in deaths as a delay in communication between the health units and the province, related to data entered into the integrated Public Health Information System (iPHIS).
“We are using the data that the health units put into the database, iPHIS, as of yesterday at 4 p.m.,” Yaffe said. “That’s the data that goes onto the website this morning at 10:30 a.m.”
She added that more resources would be put in place to help the health units enter data into the system.
“I realize they are very busy and there are a lot of things happening and putting data into a database doesn’t feel that important, but it is important so we can be as up to date as possible and as transparent as possible – that’s what we all want.”
Speaking at Thursday’s 3 p.m. news conference, Yaffe addressed the discrepancy again, saying she knows the province’s numbers are an “underrepresentation.”
“As I indicated yesterday, we do continue to work very hard to ensure that our systems are as up-to-date as possible so that we can provide as current information as possible,” she said.
Here is a breakdown of COVID-19-related deaths in each public health unit as of Thursday morning:
Algoma Public Health – 0
Brant County Health Unit – 0
Chatham-Kent Public Health – 0
Durham Region Health Department – 6
Eastern Ontario Health Unit – 0
Grey Bruce Health Unit – 0
Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit – 4
Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit – 15
Halton Region Health Department – 1
City of Hamilton Public Health Services – 1
Hastings Prince Edward Public Health Services – 1
Huron Perth Public Health – 1
Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington Public Health – 0
Lambton Public Health – 5
Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit – 2
Middlesex-London Health Unit – 3
Niagara Region Public Health – 4
North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit – 0
Northwestern Health Unit – 0
Ottawa Public Health – 3
Peel Public Health – 1
Peterborough Public Health – 0
Porcupine Health Unit – 0
Public Health Sudbury & Districts – 0
Renfrew County & District Health Unit – 1
Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit – 4
Southwestern Public Health – 2
Thunder Bay District Health Unit – 0
Timiskaming Health Unit – 0
Toronto Public Health – 11 (Revised down from 19. Health officials say some previous deaths were inappropriately attributed to COVID-19.)
Region of Waterloo Public Health – 2
Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health – 0
Windsor-Essex County Health Unit – 1
York Region Public Health – 6
This story has been modified to reflect revised data from Toronto Public Health. On April 1, Toronto officials said that there had been 19 deaths related to COVID-19 in the city so far. On April 2, Toronto’s medical officer of health said there were in fact 11 confirmed COVID-19 deaths to date and that some of the previous deaths had been inappropriately attributed to COVID-19.