Health unit retracts second COVID-19 hospitalization report

A second hospitalization related to COVID-19 – the first since April – reported on Aug. 5 was retracted on Aug. 7 in the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge district health unit’s data update.

On Aug. 5 at 12:25 p.m., the health unit updated cumulative data on confirmed COVID-19 cases in the region that included a second hospitalization, the county’s first hospitalization since April. On Aug. 7 at 12:45 p.m., that information was corrected in the health unit’s report, noting “One case has been removed, as the case was not hospitalized for COVID-19 treatment.”

Bill Eekhof, spokesperson for the HKPRDHU, reached out to the Echo to “clarify this situation.”

“…the health unit was notified of a positive lab result for an individual in hospital in Haliburton County. However, upon further investigation and follow-up, the confirmed case no longer meets the criteria for a ‘hospitalized case of COVID-19.’ This is now reflected in today’s COVID-19 case count for the health unit region,” he wrote in an email.

“The Health Unit defines COVID hospitalizations this way:

  • If a local resident goes to hospital for COVID-19 symptoms in Haliburton County, Northumberland County or the City of Kawartha Lakes, he/she is included in the hospitalized case count for the HKPR region. This remains the same, even if the person is transferred to another hospital in a different part of Ontario.
  • If someone goes to hospital for a medical problem unrelated to COVID-19, and is then tested and found to have the coronavirus, they are not counted among hospitalized cases but are included in the confirmed case counts for COVID-19.”

Currently there are two Haliburton County residents who have tested positive for COVID-19, with 12 previous cases reported to be resolved. Three high-risk contacts – those being asymptomatic individuals who are known to have been in contact with a confirmed or probable case – were reported on Aug. 5, and updated to seven high-risk contacts on Aug. 7.

The Aug. 7 HKPRDHU data of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the area revises Haliburton County hospitalizations, and adds four high risk contacts to the county’s Aug. 5 numbers. /Screenshot from

The HKPRDHU will not give further details about the age or gender of those who have tested positive for COVID-19, nor did they or Haliburton Highlands Health Services respond to questions for further details on where the second hospitalization took place, citing patient privacy.

“Unfortunately, the HKPR District Health Unit cannot provide more details about the latest COVID-19 case in Haliburton County,” said Eekhof. “We have a legal responsibility to protect personal health information that we collect under various pieces of legislation such as the Health Protection and Promotion Act. Although it may seem that our geographic area has a large enough population to make it impossible to identify an individual, we essentially cover three counties comprised of small towns and villages… and it could be very easy to identify someone who tests positive. This is especially true in Haliburton County, which is the smallest of the three municipalities serviced by the Health Unit.”

The health unit will also not confirm if the 13th and 14th cases are connected to each other.

While an epidemiological report offers the distribution of confirmed COVID-19 cases by age and gender throughout the health unit’s region, the health unit will not break down the local cases.

Throughout the region, a little more than 21 per cent of people who have tested positive for COVID-19 are 80 and older, 12 per cent are aged 70 to 79, almost 20 per cent are aged 60 to 69, almost 18 per cent are aged 50 to 59, nine per cent are 40 to 49, and also 30 to 39, seven per cent are 20 to 29 and just under four per cent are aged 20 and under.

City of Kawartha Lakes has reported 176 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 11 hospitalizations in total and 156 cases resolved, while Northumberland has reported 26 cases of COVID-19, with two hospitalizations in total and 25 cases resolved. The region has seen 216 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since reporting began in March.

For further information including a daily epidemiological summary, visit

~ Staff