COVID-19 screening: up to a week of waiting for results

Visitors to the designated COVID-19 clinic in Quebec have been waiting for the results of their screening test for … last week. A difficult and agonizing wait both for them and for the people with whom they have been in contact before being in solitary confinement.
M adeleine (fictitious first name) went to the clinic adjacent to the University Institute of Mental Health of Quebec (IUSMQ) around 7 p.m. Thursday. She has been waiting for her results ever since, when she was told of a 24 to 36 hour delay.

“I called wherever I could, and I’m told it’s late. I still wonder if the [sample] has been lost. Nowhere to check. This bit is what worries me the most, ”Madeleine told us by email Tuesday morning.

Wherever our interlocutor called for information, she was told that she was not alone in this situation. She finally learned later Tuesday that her test had not been lost, but had not yet been analyzed. We would have talked to him about six or seven days.

Madeleine finds the wait “painful”, for her, of course, but also for the work colleagues she encountered before being in solitary confinement at home while waiting for the diagnosis.

Another resident of Quebec who visited the clinic adjacent to the IUSMQ also told us to wait for her results since last Thursday. “We have been in voluntary isolation since our return from California last Tuesday. Two out of five of the family are sick. We took the screening test on Thursday morning, and we are still waiting for the results, ”she testified, also confident that she would find the wait long.

At the CIUSSS de la Capitale-Nationale, it is explained that the analyzes of the samples are done at the Laboratoire de santé publique du Québec (LSPQ). Spokesperson Annie Ouellet recalls that Health Minister Danielle McCann announced Monday the establishment (by the end of March) of seven new supraregional laboratories, including one at the CHU de Québec, in order to reduce delays .

Currently, the LSPQ can perform between 800 and 1000 analyzes per day. With the establishment of other laboratories, the daily capacity could increase to more than 6000 analyzes by the end of the month.

“While waiting for the results of your sample, it is important to follow the isolation procedures at home,” said Ms. Ouellet, who asked people not to worry. “Just because it takes longer [to have the results] doesn’t mean it’s positive.”

In its report on Monday, the CIUSSS of the Capitale-Nationale reported 510 people tested at the COVID-19 clinic and 99 negative results.

On Tuesday, a new case of COVID-19 was reported in the Capitale-Nationale, bringing to five the number of cases reported so far in this region.

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