Coronavirus Canada Updates: ‘Probable’ COVID-19 case in Yukon was false alarm

Coronavirus Canada Updates: Ottawa sees fewer than 100 new cases of COVID-19 in one-day dip
Coronavirus Canada Updates: Ottawa sees fewer than 100 new cases of COVID-19 in one-day dip

Yukon’s chief medical officer says a “probable” COVID-19 case announced Saturday turned out to not actually be an active case.

The person had tested positive in Whitehorse using a local GeneXpert rapid test, but a second test sent to a B.C. lab for validation found the person was actually negative.

“The test results left us puzzled for some time,” said Yukon Chief Medical Officer Dr. Brendan Hanley. After re-testing in B.C., Hanley said it was confirmed as “not a case.”

Hanley said the person did not have an active COVID-19 infection and did not introduce infection to the Yukon. Some contacts of the person were tested after the initial test, and everyone was negative.

Yukon will still use rapid test
Hanley said the rapid test used in Yukon can pick up extremely low amounts of virus, which could either indicate a past COVID-19 infection or be confused with other viruses.

“Every technology has its limitations,” he said.

However, Hanley said Yukon will continue to use the GeneXpert rapid COVID test. He said the rapid test would be “an extremely useful tool” should there be an outbreak. Yukon tests require validation in B.C.

“This is part of the learning process,” he said.

Yukon has now seen 15 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, and all of the infected people are recovered. A non-resident recently tested positive in late September and was hospitalized in Whitehorse.

“Please remember that you always have to be acting as if COVID might be around,” said Hanley on Wednesday.

Premier Sandy Silver said the most recent case, as well as rising case numbers in other parts of Canada, is a reminder that Yukon is “not out of the woods.”

He urged people to seek out accurate information on the government’s COVID-19 web page.

“Rumours travel quickly and can cause unnecessary panic,” said Silver.

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