The mixed up tests were caused by human error, not faulty results. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)

The mixed up tests were caused by human error, not faulty results. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)

Backwards tray results in 12 misinformed North Island COVID-19 testees

Six negative and six positive results were linked to the wrong names on the North Island

Amid a flurry of tests and publicized COVID-19 cases, 12 test results in the Regional District of Mount Waddington were mixed up, causing six people to mistakenly be told they were negative, and six informed they were positive.

Vancouver Island Health Authority discovered the mistake during a routine quality assurance process Dec. 7, and immediately contacted the affected individuals.

“The error was the result of a lab testing tray being placed incorrectly into the analyzer.

“This was human error and is not indicative of any issues with Island Health’s COVID-19 testing accuracy or equipment,” wrote Island Health in an email to Black Press, adding that the lab team is developing new quality practices to prevent the chance of this happening again.

Some in the community referred to these as a ‘false positive,’ but it is important to note that the test results were not incorrect, they just had the wrong names associated. All positive test results are double-checked by the B.C. Centre for Disease Control, and have been 100 per cent accurate to date.

READ MORE: Port McNeill mother confirms positive COVID-19 test

READ MORE: B.C. records 28 deaths due to COVID-19, 723 new cases (Dec. 10)

“Island Health is confident this is an isolated incident which was quickly identified and rectified through well-established quality assurance measures.

“We acknowledge the stress, anxiety and inconvenience caused by this error and sincerely apologize to those affected.”

On Dec. 10 the B.C. Centre for Disease Control reported five new cases on Vancouver Island, with 158 active cases. Eight people are hospitalized and four are in critical care. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Vancouver Island Health Authority has confirmed seven deaths from COVID-19, and a cumulative total of 740 cases.

North Vancouver Island Health Service Delivery Area, which includes Hornby and Denman Islands, Comox, Courtenay and everyone north of that on the Island, plus a large section of remote mainland communities, has 30 active cases and a cumulative total of 166 cases as of Dec. 9.

Map showing the North Vancouver Island Health Services Delivery Area. (BC Health map)

Do you have something to add to this story or something else we should report on? Email: zoe.ducklow@blackpress.ca


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