You, our listeners and website readers, have asked us a couple questions about COVID-19 lately.  So we turned to the Porcupine Health Unit for the answers.  Here are the questions and the emailed responses.

If the man who is death number 9 was at TADH since July 19, why was he not reported as being an active case?

·         While we will not comment about specific cases, especially with tragic outcomes out of respect for family and loved ones which needs to remain the priority, we can provide some general comments. As with many medical conditions including infectious processes there can be recovery from an acute infection however complications can last longer. Complications can then also unfortunately worsen and then the initial condition or infection is related to the ultimate outcome.

Families of Extendicare (Timmins) residents have been told the test for the worker (recently tested positive) turns out to be a false positive. Why has this not been reported by PHU and the numbers changed to reflect that?

·         There is currently no indication that any cases in the PHU area can be considered false positives.

·         According to Public Health Ontario, false positives are very rare.  Visit https://www.publichealthontario.ca/-/media/documents/lab/covid-19-lab-testing-faq.pdf?la=en for more information about testing and results. 

·         A positive test in an individual who does not have symptoms may represent 2 possible scenarios:

·         Current infection that is asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic (e.g. the individual develops symptoms afterwards) – early infection OR

·         Prior infection (with or without symptoms).

·         We’re learning a lot about asymptomatic cases of COVID-19, but each case is unique so the investigation process is different. This may include repeat testing. But it’s important to note that a subsequent negative test does not mean the earlier positive test was incorrect.