Penny Daflos Profile picture
@CTVVancouver journalist. Reporting style: confrontation with a smile. Lover of sci-fi, hater of puns & producer/host of the “BTS with CTV Vancouver" podcast.
14 May
“It was a way of making sure we weren't overly cautious," said Dr. Henry when asked about non-outbreak protocols in BC care homes with an infected staffer.
"Enhanced surveillance" doesn't prompt a testing team nor trigger notifications.@CTVVancouver 1/…
He spent 4 mos in an FOI battle to find out how many times VCH & FH declared "enhanced screening" rather than outbreaks in the 2nd wave, and @ianjamesyoung70 did a deep dive into the stats w grim conclusions.
The health authorities still left out info. 2/…
What are enhanced surveillance/monitoring protocols?
In Vancouver Coastal: hold a couple meetings and keep a close eye for more symptoms.
In Fraser: the above, plus shut down visits & group activities in affected wards.
Dr. Henry points out the majority don't see more cases. 3/
Read 8 tweets
8 May
There's a famous Hemingway quote describing going bankrupt two ways: "Gradually, then suddenly."
I think that's what's been happening with trust and goodwill with BC public health officers and yesterday was the suddenly.… @CTVVancouver #bcpoli
Someone leaked these reports to the @VancouverSun. Yet the dep PHO tried to spin the idea it wasn't a leak despite the fact CDC didn't publish them and several pages clearly say “For authorized internal public health use only –not for public distribution."…
Gustafson & Henry claimed these were working docs (that didn't say 'draft' or 'V.1') and they're fine with info being public. Henry tried to downplay, insisting most info already public.
Not true. That level of detail has systematically been kept from the public for 14 months.
Read 11 tweets
7 May
The BCCDC acknowledged airborne transmission of COVID-19 this week but the province isn’t changing its messaging or recos: “We have always said, there is a continuum of droplets.”
A UBC air quality expert says msg/recos have to evolve. @CTVVancouver 1/5…
Michael Braur says ventilation is key and we should add open doors and windows to our layers of protection whenever indoors with people we don’t live with.
Simple and effective — while keeping our distance.
Much harder to do at workplaces, where air filtration is important. 2/5
@TeriMooring points out many school windows don’t open and teachers/parents have resorted to buying HEPA air filters for classrooms on their own since the province still hasn’t provided them despite committing to do so. 3/5
Read 5 tweets
7 May
This is a huge scoop by @njgriffiths and deeply concerning.
In other provinces, a lot of this kind of information is easily available online.
BC has a significant transparency problem, in addition to ongoing communication and messaging issues.
The fact @CDCofBC hasn't responded isn't a surprise: their comms are overseen by @PHSAofBC and they avoid responding whenever possible -- the same PHSA that didn't let me speak to the acting CEO or board chair to discuss this story.…
Read 4 tweets
21 Apr
Healthcare workers keep telling me BC hospitals are in worse shape than govt COVID stats suggest, even though we saw a new record today.
Assmts on the floor, beds in halls, but @VCHhealthcare isn’t opening the field hospital at Convention Centre. More: ⬇️…
The many precautions in this piece are still in effect…
Remember, hospital doctors have been raising the alarm for weeks…
Read 6 tweets
9 Apr
Seeing some inconsistencies in government messaging around testing in BC right now. @Fraserhealth just issued a bulletin urging those with even mild symptoms to go straight for a test, and “Fraser Health has testing capacity.”
Their website supports this.…
What happens when you go to the provincial self assessment tool? It tells you to stay home and call 811 with mild to moderate shortness of breath. You need to select at least 2 symptoms from the subsequent list for direction to a test.
The @CDCofBC website has this handy chart with the latest guidance, which is in line with the Thrive screening geared at the most serious symptoms, unless you have more than one. Shouldn’t we test with any of these symptoms? We have the capacity to do a lot more tests.
Read 9 tweets
8 Apr
MORE: From now on, Dr. Henry says they'll assume anyone who's tested positive for COVID has a variant because they've become so common.
The strategy now will essentially be spot-testing to see which variants are becoming dominant and may cause re-infection and/or escape vaccines.
This is good background on this issue of percentages, which are much likely higher than officials are revealing.…
This is scary: BC is now seeing entire families in hospital, with parents in ICU and their adult kids in COVID wards.

Some hospital ICUs are overflowing. My heart goes out to healthcare workers on the front lines.
And yet, no new widespread restrictions.…
Read 4 tweets
7 Apr
When Dr. Henry said ON is about a month ahead of BC in terms of variants, I asked her whether we should be proactive and take the similar measures now rather than wait a month -- especially given concerns doctors are raising about overflowing ICUs ⬇️…
I also pointed out she seemed to be minimizing the presence and impact of variants here, but she insisted they're treating each case as if it's a variant & responding aggressively.
A few things to unpack. Let's start w testing, which is consistent low despite more cases: ImageImageImage
DBH said contact tracing continues and providing help to isolate from family/roommates also being done, which is great. But is that a response commensurate with the surge we've seen, which is being driven by variants? She insists they're doing that "as aggressively as we can".
Read 8 tweets
8 Feb
COVID variants are a major concern for health officials right now -- not to mention the rest of us.
I'm seeing a lot of ?s about how BC is testing for them so here's a thread w FAQs and info directly from a @CDCofBC environmental microbiologist who spoke with @CTVVancouver . 1/x
First, if you want a quick 2 minute rundown in video format about how many variants we have in BC, what's going on, and the testing info, watch this:… 2/x
We spoke with Natalie Prystajecky, the program head for the environmental microbiology program at the BCCDC public health lab. She had a really great way of explaining what's they do.
A HUGE point to know: only a handful of labs in the country can test for COVID varriants. 3/x
Read 12 tweets