System outage at Public Health Ontario may result in delayed COVID-19 test results

TORONTO — Public Health Ontario (PHO) said that some COVID-19 test results may be delayed due to a system “outage” that is preventing staff from accessing the information.

In a notice posted on their website on Wednesday night, the health agency apologized for the inconvenience.

“Due to an unexpected outage, PHO’s laboratory is currently unable to access or issue patient test results. Some laboratory test reports may be delayed as a result,” the notice said. “We are working to get back to normal operations as fast as possible.”

A spokesperson said that lab information and the province’s COVID-19 diagnostic testing network is not impacted by the outage. The agency is also continuing to test COVID-19 samples.

“We are calling healthcare providers and local public health units with all COVID-19 positive test results to ensure patient management and timely public health action,” the spokesperson said in an email.

Normal operations are expected to resume on Thursday.

The outage comes as the Ontario government announces that select pharmacies across the province will be conducting COVID-19 tests in an effort to help with overcrowding and long wait times at assessment centres.

Last week residents reported waiting between three to six hours to get a COVID-19 test.

Public Health ONtario

PHO is advising anyone who needs assistance during the outage to call their customer service centre at 1-877-604-4567 to leave a message or speak to an agent.

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