Ontario COVID-19 testing error led to misdiagnosing over 30 people

Jan 11 2021, 9:11 pm

An Ontario COVID-19 testing error has led to over 30 individuals being misdiagnosed.

A processing error at the Hamilton Regional Laboratory Medicine Program (HRLMP) resulted in 31 individuals receiving incorrect COVID-19 test results. All individuals who received incorrect test results have now been contacted with “immediate action” taken to address the error.

The tests were collected in Hamilton, Burlington, and the surrounding area on December 30 and 31 and were processed at HRLMP.

Of the 31 individuals, 16 who were COVID-19-positive initially received a negative test result, and 15 who were COVID-19-negative initially received a positive test result.

“We sincerely apologize for the impact on those who have received incorrect test results,” said Dr. Marek Smieja, Interim Chief of HRLMP, in a statement.

“We would like to thank our medical laboratory team, who are working tirelessly with dedication and professionalism throughout the pandemic to provide our community with timely and accurate test results. The laboratory’s work is a vital component in our collective ability to stop the spread of COVID-19.”

Since March 2020, HRLMP has performed more than 350,000 COVID-19 tests and is currently conducting up to 2,500 tests each day.

HRLMP is a joint program operated by St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton and Hamilton Health Sciences.

Clarrie FeinsteinClarrie Feinstein

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