Skip to main content

Outbreaks lifted at multiple Regina care homes following 'invalid' COVID-19 tests


The Government of Saskatchewan says it has identified a “testing issue” at the Roy Romanow Provincial Laboratory in Regina that led to a “large number” of invalid tests.

The province said an instrument error at the laboratory resulted in 255 invalid COVID-19 test results between Aug. 18 and 22.

In a release, the province said an instrument error at the laboratory resulted in 255 invalid COVID-19 test results.

After a retest, 206 samples are inconsistent with the result of the first test. The province said a “full reconciliation” of the data will be completed by Wednesday.

The government said 54 residents at long-term care homes in Regina who previously tested positive for COVID-19 have been retested and were confirmed to be negative.

In a follow up press release, the SHA announced outbreak declarations have been lifted for all but three Regina care homes.

According to Fergall Magee, provincial head of laboratory medicine, the province’s testing system is put through quality assurance tests on a regular basis, and it was during this test that the issue was identified.

“We run samples for which we know the answer, so we put samples on the machine that we know are all COVID-negative, and on Sunday eight of 10 of those samples actually reported COVID-positive,” Magee said. “WE went back and checked the 255 test that had been run since we last did the negative control, and 206 of those were not valid positive tests.”

Regina Lutheran Home, Santa Maria, Extendicare Parkside, Extendicare Sunset, Regina Pioneer Village – Transitional Care Unit, and Wascana Rehabilitation Centre Unit 2-6, will return to Recovery Phase family presence/visitation.

Extendicare Elmview, Regina Pioneer Village Complex Care Unit and Wascana Rehab Centre Mental Health Unit will remain at Level 3, which allows visitation for end of life reasons only.

On Monday, the provincial government and the Saskatchewan Health Authority moved to limit visitors at Regina long-term care homes after a suspected increase in COVID-19 cases.

The health authority said outbreaks were confirmed at four long-term care homes in the city and suspected at three. The SHA was unable to confirm how many COVID-19 cases are connected to the homes.

The government said Tuesday it is reaching out to families of residents whose initial test has been classified as a false-positive. Top Stories

Stay Connected