More than 5,000 COVID-19 test samples destroyed in Montreal

More than 5,000 people who were given a PCR test for COVID-19 in early January have not received their results because their samples were destroyed.

According to the CIUSSS du Nord-de-l’Île-de-Montréal, due to an increase in demand for COVID screening at the beginning of the new year, laboratory capacity was exceeded between Jan. 3 and 7. This caused 5,462 samples to sit for over 72 hours before being analyzed, making their results invalid and requiring they be destroyed.

The CIUSSS covers the northern part of Montreal, spanning from Cartierville to Rivière-des-Prairies.

A message was sent to those who had their samples destroyed, urging them to get re-tested if they still have symptoms. As PCR testing is currently no longer available to the general public in Quebec, anyone who does not fall into a priority category was encouraged to use a rapid-testing kit at home.

Those eligible for PCR tests are health and social service workers, people in long-term care, homeless people, first responders, people who travel in and out of Indigenous communities, school staff, and those who linked with a suspected outbreak in a high-risk setting.

A news release from the CIUSSS said, “If you are unable to obtain these tests, isolate yourself for the number of days you are expected to be in isolation based on your vaccination status."

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