Lab errors reveal 2 new cases of COVID-19 in NL, disprove West Coast case

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Errors during the COVID-19 testing process were discovered, Eastern Health and the provincial health ministry said on Wednesday, which identified two more positive cases, as well as revealing one case. positive from last weekend was actually negative.The two new cases had gone unidentified for several days until an investigation by the province’s public health laboratory in St. John’s takes a closer look at the test review process, a decision triggered by the investigation on a positive case announced Sunday, involving a woman in western Newfoundland.

This woman’s test result was actually negative, Eastern Health said in a press release Wednesday afternoon, and her misidentification was the result of a “data manipulation error” in the lab.

Two data files did not match correctly, generating the wrong report, Eastern Health said. The health authority said it had taken steps, such as changing the lab’s workflow, to prevent this from happening again. He also flagged down the software vendor so that he could take preventative action as well.

It is not known how the positive cases announced on Wednesday were initially misidentified. They concern a man and a woman from the central health region, both aged 60 to 69 years.

The cases are travel-related, with both residents of the province having returned from Alberta. The health department said they were part of the same household and had been self-isolating since arriving.

The CEO of Eastern Health is expected to speak to the media about the investigation on Wednesday afternoon.

Flight advisory issued

Contact tracing by public health officials for central health cases has been completed, with anyone deemed to be close contact notified of the quarantine.

The Department of Health is asking anyone who traveled on Air Canada flight 7484 from Toronto to Deer Lake, arriving November 6, to call 811 to arrange for the COVID-19 test.

The investigation clarifies questions that lingered for days after the Western Health case was announced, with no clear idea of ​​how the woman, aged 20 to 39, contracted the virus. There have been no known cases of COVID-19 linked to community transmission in the province since May.

In the statement, Eastern Health apologized to patients who initially received inaccurate results, as well as to people who were tested unnecessarily.

The province has seven active cases and 287 people have recovered. To date, 55,586 people have been tested – 350 of them arrived on the last day.

The province’s total caseload now stands at 298.

Read more articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

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