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Almost 1000 new premature COVID-19 test results issued by St Vincent’s Hospital

SydPath released 995 premature SMS test results after advising 400 people of false negatives yesterday. Photo: Facebook/St Vincent's Hospital.

By DANIEL LO SURDO

St Vincent’s pathology clinic SydPath has identified 995 new people who were sent a premature SMS advising them that their COVID-19 test was negative when the true result was yet to be confirmed. It comes after SydPath confirmed yesterday that 400 incorrect test results were issued, with both occurrences related to human error.

“Once again, we are sincerely sorry for this error and acknowledge the significant impact it has had on those involved,” a SydPath spokesperson said.

“This event comes at a time of unprecedented COVID-19 testing activity and SydPath’s people, as with all pathology teams throughout NSW, are working around the clock to respond.”

SydPath confirmed this morning that all 400 people who were incorrectly advised of their COVID-19 results had been contacted and informed of their positive results. The 995 people given premature SMS results were tested by SydPath on 23 and 24 December, and have now been contacted and will be informed of their true results by tonight.

The event comes as cases fuelled by the new Omicron variant has skyrocketed daily cases in NSW, with state Health Minister Brad Hazzard expecting everyone in the state to contract the virus. At a press conference yesterday, Hazzard implored NSW residents to book their booster vaccination as Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt shortened the duration between a second COVID-19 vaccination and a booster shot.

NSW announced 6.324 new COVID-19 cases this morning, with 520 hospitalised and 55 in intensive care. The state reached 95 per cent first dose vaccination on Christmas Day.

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