Ontario plans to start reporting which COVID-19 deaths are “incidental,” the province’s top doctor told reporters on Thursday.
Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Kieran Moore, said that he wants Ontarians to have a better understanding of the daily numbers.
“We’re trying to get the public better data and a better analysis to understand the true mortality associated with both Omicron and Delta,” he said at a press conference.
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On Tuesday, the province began reporting hospitalizations and ICU admissions based on if patients were admitted “with” or “for” COVID-19.
As of Friday, 53% of the 3,814 COVID-19 hospitalizations are patients who were admitted because of COVID-19; the other 47% were admitted for other reasons and tested positive for COVID-19.
Similarly, the province plans to soon differentiate between whether someone died “from” or “with” COVID-19.
When asked about the growing number of daily COVID-19 deaths, Dr. Moore said that some may not have been a direct as a result of a COVID-19 infection.
“It may be that some of these deaths are incidentally correlated to COVID-19,” he said.
Ontario will be requesting more information from hospitals about whether someone died as a direct result of COVID-19 or from something else and happened to have the disease.
“As we go forward, and we’ve just recently met with the chief coroner’s office, we’ll be sending memos out to hospital partners to ensure that that is documented appropriately if it’s associated with or caused by COVID-19 to further clarify to the public the cause of death,” said Dr. Moore.
It is not yet clear when this new reporting will go into effect.