NSHA and Province should clarify ICU Numbers; hold joint briefings

PC Leader Tim Houston is calling on the Premier to invite representatives from the NSHA to the COVID briefings to update the public on the outbreak at the Halifax Infirmary. Houston is also seeking clarity on the conflicting Intensive Care Unit numbers reported yesterday.

Saltwire Network reported 33 ICU patients across the province, while the provincial release indicated 15 people were receiving care.

“Many Nova Scotians have been faithfully listening to these COVID briefings for the length of this pandemic,” says Houston. “The NSHA should use this platform to inform Nova Scotians of the situation at our hospitals at this critical time.”

Dr. Tony O'Leary, Medical Director of Critical Care for the NSHA, spoke with the media yesterday to provide an update on the COVID situation at the hospital. Houston says with hospitals under pressure, it makes sense that what he has to say is heard by as many people as possible.

Houston notes that with the province recently overcoming a series of case backlogs, it is important to ensure that the daily numbers provided are timely, accurate, and in sync with the health system. Yesterday’s provincial release and NSHA update were within hours of each other.

“I’m sure there’s a clear explanation,” says Houston. “But after over a week of unofficial numbers and a backlog of testing, Nova Scotians want as many facts as possible. I trust that Public Health and the NSHA can offer those numbers.”

Yesterday, the province said that eight patients contracted the virus at the hospital. There are now an unspecified number of doctors, nurses and staff who are being tested. Earlier this week, some non-COVID patients were moved to other hospitals.

“Other provinces enduring difficult waves have held briefings with a team of doctors, scientists and health professionals when required,” says Houston. “I’d love to hear their expertise right alongside the expertise of Dr. Strang to get the best possible information.”