Technical issues delay some negative COVID-19 tests, AHS contacting those affected

Due to a technical issue, some Albertans who had a negative COVID-19 tests didn’t receive their results in September. Alberta Health Services is now working to contact those affected.

Between Sept. 10 and Sept. 29, AHS said about 5,000 people — out of more than 224,000 — didn’t receive their negative test result. That’s about three per cent of negative results during that time frame, AHS said.

Read more: 20 million Canadians still don’t have full access to the COVID Alert app. Why?

The error that caused the issue was identified and corrected on Sept. 29, AHS said, and monitoring of the system has confirmed there were no issues after that day.

The health agency said those who hadn’t received a text alert or call from the autodialer will receive a follow-up phone call or text. That process has already begun.

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The technical issue did not affect results being sent to the MyHealthRecords system, AHS said. Pharmacists and physicians also received all results without a delay.

Click to play video 'Alberta working with lab to look at mouth rinse and saliva COVID-19 tests' Alberta working with lab to look at mouth rinse and saliva COVID-19 tests

Alberta working with lab to look at mouth rinse and saliva COVID-19 tests

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health announced Albertans would be able to start receiving results via text message on Sept. 10. Dr. Deena Hinshaw said if someone receives a positive COVID-19 test result via text, AHS contact tracers will still contact that person for further isolation instructions and to begin the contact-tracing process.

Read more: Number of active COVID-19 cases in Alberta rises to 1,582 on Wednesday

On top of the text message method, Albertans can also receive a call via an autodialer, or can sign up to review their results on the MyHealthRecords system.

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