In Ontario, upwards of 500 positive cases of COVID-19 dating back more than two weeks have gone unreported and were just brought to Ontario Health’s attention this weekend.
An Ontario Health Official confirmed to Vista Radio that positive test results from the COVID-19 provincial testing laboratories used by the William Osler Health System (WOHS) assessment centre had not been reported to 12 local Public Health Units where the cases reside.
The WOHS is made up of the Osler drive-through assessment centre and hospitals in Brampton and Etobicoke. Most of the cases that went unreported are in Toronto, Peel and York Public Health jurisdictions and the majority of these tests came from Osler’s drive-thru assessment centre at Etobicoke General Hospital.
The Ministry of Health confirmed that many of the cases that were brought to their attention this weekend have already been entered into Ontario’s Integrated Public Health Information System, with nearly 430 cases to be added over the next few days. Officials could not confirm nor deny that the total number of unreported cases are in the range of 500 to 700 positive cases, saying that Ontario Health is still working through the numbers.
Both the MOH and Ontario Health reassured that each of the individuals who went unreported had access to their test results online and are being contacted. According to Ontario Health, over the weekend public health units began identifying and confirming with patients, starting with those who had been tested within the last 14 days to ensure contact tracing and case management began.
Patients who tested positive more than 14 days ago will also be contacted by public health units for case management and contact tracing, keeping in mind that many of the cases from more than 14 days ago would now be considered resolved.
Ontario Health says they have clarified the reporting process with testing hospitals and assessment centres. In response to this occurrence, the provincial network has confirmed with all laboratories in Ontario that there is a clear and documented understanding of who is informing local Public Health Units to ensure timely case investigation and contact tracing.
Ontario Health says all parties are working to ensure this the situation does not happen again, and steps are being taken to prevent any recurrence.