Tiasha Tabassum: COVID-19 results from one provincial lab were not reported to the local public health units in Ontario. Now public health staffs are working to trace the cases which go unreported due to the reporting error. The situation was discovered after a thorough investigation by Ontario Health.
Most of the positive unreported cases include residents from Toronto, Peel Region and York region. The following lab was used by William Osler Health System where a majority of tests came from Etobicoke General Hospital.
According to a statement released by Ontario Health, “Patients who tested positive more than 14 days ago will also be contacted by public health units to enable contact tracing and case management. Many of the cases from more than 14 days ago would now be considered resolved. The provincial network has confirmed with all laboratories that there is a clear and documented understanding of who is informing local public health units to ensure timely case investigation and contact tracing,” the statement read. All parties are working to ensure this situation does not happen again, and steps taken to prevent re-occurrence.”
Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown said it is not a surprise to have such mistakes if we consider the stress upon health workers at this time. “It shouldn’t happen, we need to be better at communication, but the fact that our hospitals are (at) such high capacity right now, mistakes are bound to happen, ” he said.
With a communication gap like this, the whole process can fall apart. It will be a learning experience for all the involved.