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Expert Bashes BC for COVID-19 Data Gaps

Detailed information is key to fight the virus, says researcher. But the province lags when it comes to providing certain kinds.

[Excerpt] British Columbia is lagging in providing detailed information on COVID-19 cases, and its failures are undermining efforts to protect the public, says an expert in data-based modelling.

Jens von Bergmann is owner of MountainMath, a Vancouver data analytics company modelling work largely focused on housing and transit.

But since the pandemic hit, von Bergmann has increasingly turned his attention to analyzing COVID-19 data and preparing models to help understand the spread.
But the big gaps in available data in B.C. — even compared to other provinces — have forced him to do a lot of extra work.
And the lack of data has made crucial modelling work difficult, imprecise or impossible, he says.

Von Bergmann isn’t alone in his criticism. Mario Possamai, a former senior advisor to the Ontario government’s SARS Commission, recently prepared the report A Time of Fear that found key lessons from that outbreak are being ignored by Canadian jurisdictions.

And B.C. is among the worst offenders, the report says, as the province is failing to provide specific data the SARS Commission — an investigation of the 2003 SARS outbreak in Ontario — found was crucial to safeguard health workers. The report was commissioned by the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions. To read more, click on the link below.

Bryan Carney