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Winnipeg woman waits 5 days before COVID-19 positive test results delivered

Click to play video 'Waiting for test results' Waiting for test results
WATCH: While testing lines seem to be getting longer, some Manitobans say so is the wait to get their results back. One woman says she waited five days to receive confirmation about her positive test result. Malika Karim reports.

It took Manitoba Public Health officials five days to notify a Winnipeg woman that she has tested positive for COVID-19.

Global News has agreed to not identify the woman in this story, over concerns of public stigma.

“On the Sunday I went to get a test,” the woman said. “I still had very mild symptoms, definitely didn’t think I had COVID, I just wanted to be careful.”

Read more: Masks now mandatory in Winnipeg, surrounding areas

The woman said she was experiencing a slight sore throat and sniffles, but thought it could just be a cold.

She waited four days in isolation with no test results, adhering to the public health orders. Because her symptoms got worse, she decided to call health links.

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“I finally got a hold of someone and she took my information, looked up my results, then told me she was having technical difficulties and passed me on to her manager,” she said.

“Then that’s the person that essentially told me that I tested positive. Although she did recommend that I don’t tell anyone until I got the official call from the health nurse, which I did not get the official call from the health nurse until Friday.”

The woman notes up until that point she didn’t think she had contracted the virus.

“We didn’t really have any reason necessarily to think that I was going to test positive for COVID, with all the information that we’ve heard, which is that the positive results are within two days, so the longer it was, the more I was thinking it was going to be negative.”

Click to play video '‘COVID-19 Fatigue’' ‘COVID-19 Fatigue’
‘COVID-19 Fatigue’

A public health official called the woman on Friday to notify her of her positive result, five days after her COVID-19 test was administered.

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“What I don’t understand is why a positive result was sitting in their system, but I didn’t know about it,” the woman said.

“I mean, what if I had called that morning, what if I called the day before? Did they have it and just hadn’t told me or did it actually take that long?”

Winnipeg Health Region Authorities did confirm to Global News that the woman’s test results were shared with her five days following her test, but couldn’t go into the details as to why due to patient confidentiality.

Officials pointed to what Manitoba’s Chief Public Health officer said on Monday about delays in positive test result notification.

“Roughly 97 per cent of people, of positives, are getting their results back within 48 hours,” Dr. Brent Roussin said.

“So certainly we want to continue to improve that. We hear of anecdotes of delays of getting positives, so (we are) going to constantly look at why that might be.”

The woman’s symptoms have worsened and she remains insolation with concerns over the province’s delay in relaying critical information.

“I don’t want people who aren’t going to do what I did, which is stay home, to have to wait five days.”

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