She is one of 120 people who were tested at the Church Street Assessment Center and had to wait about two weeks for answers. She is also one of many Ontarians who have had to wait for results or have struggled to get tested as the growing number of cases in various COVID-19 hotspots across the province has resulted in large backlog of tests. This made contact tracing difficult and in some cases impossible.
Ontario Health says its “test result processing target” for the provincial COVID-19 lab network is 80 percent of tests in two days. But that hasn’t been Marina’s experience the last two times she was screened.
At the end of September, Marina’s children were not feeling well, so she was tested for the new coronavirus with them. They all tested negative. But a week later, she developed a high fever, cough and congestion and went for another test at Toronto Western Hospital.
When she checked her results online, she was told her sample had been “spilled in transit”.
University Health Network spokeswoman Gillian Howard said that while samples are capped at assessment centers, the centers themselves do not transport them. She says if a specimen arrives at a lab and the cap is not intact, it would be considered spoiled and untested.
After receiving no results from this test, Marina proceeded to the Church Street Assessment Center at Humber River Hospital, near Jane and Highway 401, on October 2.
After two weeks of waiting, she still had not got her results. She learned via a community Facebook page that several other people tested in the same location were also waiting.
“It’s frustrating,” Marina said.
“I help my sister’s family a lot. My sister is deceased, so there are three young children, ”she added.
“And I help my mother. I couldn’t see her because I wanted to be sure I didn’t have her because she’s 65.
“There is no point in having me tested again. I am already outside of the 14 day quarantine period. Would it be good to know if I had COVID? Yes. ”
In a statement provided to CBC Toronto on Friday afternoon, Humber River Hospital said the delay in making results available online was due to a “routing issue.” The hospital said the typical turnaround time for the results was three to five days.
The hospital said the issue was resolved on Friday and all delayed results were online.
But on Friday afternoon, Marina still didn’t know if she had contracted the virus. His results had not yet been posted.
The family received the results from the deputies office
Robyn Moreno was also unable to access the results after the hospital said the issue had been resolved.
Her two sons were tested at the Church Street Assessment Center at Humber River Hospital on October 1-3. After about a week of waiting and without a response, she contacted her MPP’s office.
On Friday morning, the office called and told her that they had received her son’s results by fax; they both tested negative. But, on Friday, she was still waiting to see the results herself online.
“It’s very frustrating,” she says.
Her two sons were unable to attend school in person, which was particularly difficult for her eldest son who is in the dance program at Centennial College.
“What’s the point of taking tests if you don’t even get results until after the quarantine period?” This is useless. This defeats the general objective, ”she said.
Faisal Hassan, NDP MP for York South-Weston, says he received more than 25 complaints in a week about people awaiting test results from the Church Street Assessment Center.
He says residents feared that without results they might not be able to return to work, go to school or visit and provide essential care to loved ones in long-term care homes.
” We have been [identified] as a sensitive area and these delays are totally unacceptable, ”he said.
“It forces people to remain isolated and they are unable to make a living.
He says the delay “may worsen community transmission.”
In an email sent Friday night to CBC News, Ontario Health said “it appears 128 results have been delayed for posting on the public portal” between September 28 and October 7.
“All the results were posted on the public portal today,” the email read.
In an earlier statement, Ontario Health said it was continuing to expand the capacity of the provincial lab network to process tests by adding new lab capacity, securing key supplies, technology and personnel.