Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Northern Health responds to Facebook post from Prince Rupert doctor relaying presumptive case of COVID in the City

See update to story at bottom of page

A social media post today on Facebook from a Prince Rupert doctor has roared through the city like a wildfire, as Dr. Mairus Pienaar shared some information on a recent patient at Prince Rupert Regional Hospital who had a presumptive case of COVID-19.

In his message he outlines for the community how the case was a visitor to the community who was intubated and transferred out of the community, with contact tracing said to be in place.

The post to his Facebook page has since seen over 200 replies and counting, leading to a range of commentary and theories from its readers as to the risk to the public at the moment.

Among the contributors was Prince Rupert City Councillor Barry Cunningham, who describes the Facebook post as a Statement.

He also observes how a Facebook contribution is somewhat different to the rumour mill and notes how people may now take the Covid threat seriously.

Northern Health has responded to the Social Media advisory by posting a note to their Prince Rupert designated Facebook page.

In their advisory, officials make note of the protocol for release of information that the health authority follows.

They also outline the procedure as to when such information would normally be shared by health officials.

"Specific information on confirmed cases would only be shared by the health authority or public health officials in circumstances where close contacts of confirmed cases could not be contacted by public health, or there was potential public exposure on a larger scale. 

Public Health officials have the power to release this information in exceptional circumstances such as these."

Northern Health also reaffirmed their past guidance to follow the range of information that has been provided by the Provincial Health Officer of British Columbia, Dr. Bonnie Henry.

The Provincial Health officer expanded on the theme of an outbreak in a community with an Op-ed article released on Monday, which you can read here.

The current Public Health Orders, Notices and Guidance from the Provincial Health Officer can be reviewed here.

Update April 7 -- 10PM: Dr. Pienaar revised his message on Facebook later Tuesday evening.

Update April 10 11:24 AM -- The Doctor further added to his relay of Social media items with an essay posted to his Facebook page on Friday.

You can review the wide expanse of material delivered to the public since the COVID-19 health crisis arrived in Canada from our archive page here.

1 comment:

  1. Yes councillor Cunningham and what's released through official sources, including the City's, is different from what's released through personal Facebook pages.