COVID-19 Data and Surveillance Reporting Updates | April 27
27 April 2022
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, how we report on COVID-19 and what data we have available also continues to shift in response to the current environment. Earlier this month the Ministry of Health updated their guidance on case and contact management. Due to this update, some of the data that Public Health Ontario (PHO) uses in various surveillance reports may no longer be available or may be under reported.
Where does PHO get the information for Data and Surveillance Reports?
In Ontario, follow up and investigation of confirmed COVID-19 cases are conducted by the province’s 34 local public health units (PHUs). Data from these investigations are inputted into CCM, the provincial COVID-19 public health reporting data system. It is from this data system that PHO pulls data for surveillance reports.
This update to the provincial guidance no longer requires PHUs to conduct individual level case management. Case information including symptoms, risk factors (e.g., underlying medical conditions or occupation), travel history or whether someone was a close contact of another case, etc., may no longer be available as that information can be collected and entered into CCM at the discretion of local PHUs. Under the updated guidance, PHUs are still expected to collect and report data on severe outcomes, however reporting on hospitalizations, ICU admissions and deaths may be impacted.
Confirmed cases of COVID-19 and information required for surveillance purposes, such as basic demographics and severe outcomes, will continue to be reported in PHO surveillance reports. We will continue to provide information on outbreaks, as the updated provincial guidance continues to require that PHUs enter outbreaks in the highest risk settings into CCM. Cases associated with outbreaks in these settings will note whether the infections were among residents, patients or staff, as information is made available to public health.
The change in PHU data collection may be reflected in data presented in the following PHO surveillance reports:
- Daily epidemiologic summary
- Weekly epidemiologic summary
- PHO Ontario COVID-19 Data Tool
- COVID-19 Cases with Severe Outcomes
- SARS-CoV-2 Whole Genome Sequencing in Ontario
- Confirmed Cases of COVID-19 Following Vaccination in Ontario
- COVID-19 in Long-Term Care Homes
PHO is committed to providing the best available data and information and will continue to a work with our provincial partners to report on COVID-19 data to support the pandemic response.