System outage at Public Health Ontario may delay COVID-19 test results

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Public Health Ontario (PHO) has said that some COVID-19 test results may be delayed due to a system “crash” that prevents staff from accessing information.

In a notice posted on their website Wednesday evening, the health agency apologized for the inconvenience.

“Due to an unforeseen outage, PHO’s lab is currently unable to access or publish patient test results. Some lab test reports may be delayed as a result, ”the advisory said. “We are working to get back to normal operations as quickly as possible.”

A spokesperson said lab information and the province’s COVID-19 diagnostic testing network are unaffected by the outage. The agency is also continuing to test COVID-19 samples.

“We are calling on local health care providers and public health units with all positive COVID-19 test results to ensure patient management and timely public health action,” the spokesperson said. in an email.

Normal operations are expected to resume Thursday.

The outage comes as the Ontario government announces that some pharmacies in the province will perform COVID-19 tests in an effort to reduce overcrowding and long wait times at assessment centers.

Residents last week said they waited between three and six hours to take a COVID-19 test.

PHO advises anyone who needs assistance during the outage to call their customer service center at 1-877-604-4567 to leave a message or speak to an agent.

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