Providence Manor resident tests negative twice for coronavirus after initial positive test

Providence Care says a resident at their long-term care facility, Providence Manor, had originally shown a "weak positive" when tested for the novel coronavirus. Global News

Providence Care says a resident that originally tested positive for the novel coronavirus has since tested negative twice for the virus.

According to KFL&A Public Health, the resident had a “weak positive” on their initial test.

READ MORE: Providence Care confirms new case of COVID-19 at Providence Manor

A weak positive, according Dr. Kieran Moore, medical officer of health for KFL&A Public Health, refers to how much of the virus in detected in the person being tested.

“For any test, there’s a cut-off limit. And we were told that this positive test was slightly above a cut-off. So it basically told us that there could be some virus there, but it was just slightly above a statistical cut-off. So that’s what a weak positive means,” Moore said.

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He added that in cases where there is a question about the validity of a test, health officials then start to investigate whether it was likely they caught the disease or not from, say, travel, or a close contact.

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Moore said if no such evidence of correlation exists, then it’s possible a test could be a false positive. This is something only seen once in the region.

I think we’ve had one false positive where we just can’t explain that the individual had minimal or no symptoms. All those around them were negative. And when we tested the person a day or two later, they were negative. And yet the first test was positive,” Moore said.

Both Providence Care and KFL&A Public Health say they are still investigating the case, so it has yet to be determined whether the initial test was a false positive.

Moore said information about the investigation would be released later Thursday.

The health organization has yet to lift the COVID-19 outbreak at the long-term care facility.

“We’re still in that ongoing investigation phase. We do have a significant number of the tests back, but not all of them. So we’re not prepared to make any decision with Province Manor on where to go further until we get all of that data back,” Moore said.

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Providence Care said it is still implementing all outbreak protocols.

“Even with the new test results, our teams aren’t letting up,” said Cathy Szabo, Providence Care president and CEO. “Outbreak measures are still in place at Providence Manor and we will continue to work with KFL&A Public Health to implement every safety precaution there is to protect our residents and staff.”

READ MORE: 1 staff member at Providence Manor, 3 at Providence Care Hospital diagnosed with COVID-19

All residents in the affected unit, Sydenham 4, have since been tested for the coronavirus, as well as staff members who might have been in close contact with the affected resident, Providence Care said.

Moore said at the monthly board of health meeting on Wednesday that no other residents or staff members at the long-term care facility have tested positive for the virus. He said at council Tuesday night that he believes the possibility of transmission at the home is “very low” considering the two negative test results they had at hospital.

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