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'(It's) been a frequent request': Municipal COVID-19 data will be provided

·2 min read

More details on COVID-19 cases across municipalities will be available to residents. Beginning the week of Nov. 30, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health (WDGPH) is expanding to include breakdowns for Orangeville, Shelburne and other lower-tier municipalities within their borders.

“Public Health has been reviewing publicly available information on an ongoing basis throughout the pandemic and has been looking at ways to give regional partners and the public more granular information,” Danny Williamson, spokesperson for WDGPH, told the Banner.

Prior to this, case data for COVID-19 cases across the region was only broken down for each county. According to previous statements from WDGPH, the reason additional information was unavailable was due to an effort to protect individual privacy and a desire for consistency.

“Due to the size of some of the smaller communities and rural areas within our boundaries, we need to practice an abundance of caution to ensure we do not accidentally identify someone,” Williamson said in April.

Since then, the response has continued to encompass the idea of privacy, a consistent reasoning that has also been expressed regarding cases in schools, where there is no indication of whether it is staff or students testing positive.

Williamson noted that they have now been able to determine a way in which the information regarding municipalities can be released without compromising an individual’s identity.

“Local level data has been a frequent request and Public Health has worked to validate a process that could deliver this information efficiently and protect individual privacy,” he said.

Public health has continued to add different data to the public dashboard since the pandemic started, providing more details as they’ve determined their necessity and availability.

“We will seek to continue to add to and improve the dashboard, and hope to add additional information in the coming weeks and months,” said Williamson.

To view information on cases in Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph, as well as the municipality breakdown, visit the WDGPH dashboard at wdgpublichealth.ca/your-health/covid-19-information-public/status-cases-wdg.

Tabitha Wells/Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Orangeville Banner