Why are Alberta’s Care Home COVID-19 Statistics not Public?

Written By Wyatt Claypool, Posted on February 25, 2021

Due to investigating the issues surrounding COVID-19 outbreaks in Alberta long-term care homes it has become apparent that despite how seemingly easy it would be to make statistics available in regards to cases and deaths linked to care homes they are still not available a year after statistics on COVID have started to be tracked.

All we know right now is that vaguely around 65 percent of COVID-19 deaths or potentially up to 80 percent based on the estimates by some organizations.

It would be interesting to know the exact number of cases and where they are originating from. Currently, in Alberta, we are just coming out of another lockdown that affected restaurants, and other “non-essential” services such as churches which was all based on a worry that Alberta was facing a general outbreak of COVID-19 that was remedied as if it was a province-wide issue.

The Alberta government does provide statistics regarding the age of infected people, as well as general locations, and other basic details but specifics are still limited.

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We have been hearing reports of large outbreaks in care homes around Alberta, and knowing that the majority of COVID-19 deaths are concentrated in the demographic of people who are 80-years-old and above, it would be useful to know whether or not deaths are mostly originating in care homes or not. 

Not only would the release of these stats reveal whether or not it made any sense for people to have been restricted from dining-in at restaurants, barring people from visiting each others’ homes, or arresting pastors, but it would also indicate whether or not the province’s healthcare practices have been effective in curbing infections and deaths in long-term care homes. 

It is rather silly that almost a full year into the COVID-19 pandemic in Alberta, despite statistics being updated on day to day basis, that we still cannot get specific details that would give Albertans a more realistic view of where and who COVID-19 is affecting.

(Photo from CTV New Edmonton)

(Photo from CTV New Edmonton)

Producing specific statistics regarding the where, when, and to whom of COVID-19 cases and deaths should be an absolute basic. The government putting in place restrictions of any kind while not being able to show the utility in the restrictions based on their statistics is nothing less than a waving of their responsibility to inform the public.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney and his Health Minister Tyler Shandro should be able to produce specific care home statistics if they are proud of their response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and believe their restrictions and lockdowns on the general public have been justified.

Wyatt Claypool

Wyatt is a student at Mount Royal University, where he is the president of its Campus Conservative club. In his writing, he focuses on covering provincial and federal politics, firearms regulation, and the energy sector. Wyatt has also previously written for The Post Millennial.

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