Leadership from the Northwestern Health Unit (NWHU) have confirmed they will once again be readjusting how they report COVID-19 in the region.

Dr. Kit Young Hoon, Medical Officer of Health for the NWHU said starting next week a COVID-19 update will only be released on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

Currently, the health unit is focusing on hospitalizations and occupancy levels within their COVID-19 update, and not so much case counts.

“These numbers fluctuate regularly and are more meaningful when we look at trends, and not the day-to-day changes as one or two days with a drop in hospitalizations does not mean there is less risk or impact in the region,” Young Hoon said.

Young Hoon said the reasoning behind the change is the day-to-day numbers aren’t as meaningful anymore.

In early January 2022, the NWHU focused more on the trends of the virus such as hospitalizations, and ICU admissions, and not the cases as they were an underestimate.

“We need to wait a little longer until we have enough data to show trends. Once that is possible we will provide a weekly graph on the website.”

Their change in reporting at the beginning of the year was due to the province limiting who can receive a PCR test, therefore causing daily case counts to fluctuate.

As of January 27, 2022, the NWHU is reporting three people in hospital with COVID-19, and zero in the ICU with the virus.

The health unit is also reporting a 74.1 per cent overall hospital occupancy, an 86.9 per cent acute care occupancy across the region, and a 14.3 per cent ICU occupancy rate.

The seven-day average positivity rate is 24.2 per cent, with an all-time rate of 2.1 per cent.