Coronavirus Canada updates: Some Yukon COVID-19 test results took 20-plus days to arrive, early into pandemic

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It took weeks for some Yukoners tested for COVID-19 in February and March to get their results.

Results for one test took 25 days to arrive. Results for two tests took 22 days each. More than 20 results took 14 or 15 days.

The dates were obtained via a public-records request filed in March; it was only fulfilled more than two months later.

Brendan Hanley, Yukon’s chief medical officer of health, publicly acknowledged that testing was “taking a long time” in March. He said there was a backlog at the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC), where the tests were processed.

“If tests are coming back slowly, one of the first things is to say, ‘OK, what are the alternatives?’ But we have a very special relationship with BCCDC Labs,” Hanley said on March 20.

“The best strategy for us is preserving the relationship we have with BCCDC because it’s not just a test result, it’s how that’s communicated, how the information flows, the IT infrastructure, all of those things. It’s basically a system-wide process, and because of that very tight relationship we have BCCDC, it is the best lab for us to be using.”

Hanley did not respond to a request for comment on the new data.

By the latter half of March, the turnaround time for many tests was reduced to a few days’ time.

The tests done before April 20 that had positive results took between one and six days to arrive.

Results for four of the first six tests collected in the territory, all on Feb. 18, took eight days.

Results for more than 100 tests took between seven and 13 days.

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