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January 10, 2021

Incorrect COVID-19 test results reported to 31 individuals

(HAMILTON, ON) – A processing error at the Hamilton Regional Laboratory Medicine Program (HRLMP) has resulted in 31 individuals receiving incorrect COVID-19 test results. All individuals who have received incorrect test results have been contacted. Immediate action was taken to address this error.

“We sincerely apologize for the impact on those who have received incorrect test results,” said Dr. Marek Smieja, Interim Chief of HRLMP.

The tests were collected in Hamilton, Burlington and the surrounding area on December 30th and 31st and were processed at HRLMP. Of the 31 individuals, 16 who were COVID-19 positive initially received a negative test result and 15 who were COVID-19 negative initially received a positive test result.

All individuals who received incorrect test results have been contacted by Public Health or an infectious diseases physician to provide guidance. Public Health is conducting contact tracing as appropriate.

Access to prompt, accurate COVID-19 testing plays a significant role in keeping individuals informed and our community safe. Since March 2020, HRLMP has performed more than 350,000 COVID-19 tests, and currently doing up to 2,500 tests each day. HRLMP continually monitors and evaluates its processes to ensure it meets or exceeds standards of care and regulatory requirements.

“We would like to thank our medical laboratory team, who are working tirelessly with dedication and professionalism throughout the pandemic to provide our community with timely and accurate test results. The laboratory’s work is a vital component in our collective ability to stop the spread of COVID-19,” said Dr. Smieja.

HRLMP is a joint program operated by St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton and Hamilton Health Sciences.