Health authorities try to speed up process after complaints of long waits for COVID test results


The health authority for the Centre-West region of Montreal has been scrambling to get out COVID test results in a timely manner following complaints about long waits for results.

A CJAD 800 listener whose parents are immuno-compromised and who did not wish to be identified said they had to wait five days to finally find out they all tested negative for COVID-19 after being swabbed at the Jewish General Hospital.

The hospital said it has been swamped with people getting tested and they don't have enough staff. A spokesman told CJAD 800 that the backlog should be cleared up by early next week as they now have reinforcements. 

The hospital said it aims to have positive test results out in 24 to 48 hours -  72 hours at the very most but negative test results have been slower to get out.

The health ministry said:

  • anyone with COVID symptoms and was tested must self-quarantine while waiting for results.
  • anyone who was exposed to a positive COVID case and was tested must self-quarantine for 14 days no matter the test result.
  • anyone who doesn't have symptoms and was screened as part of a systematic group testing doesn't have to self-quarantine.


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