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St Vincent’s Hospital launches emergency response after 400 incorrect COVID-19 tests found

St Vincent's pathology service incorrectly informed 400 people of their COVID-19 test results. Photo: Facebook/Irish Echo Australia.

By TOKS OGUNDARE

St Vincent’s Hospital in Darlinghurst has launched an emergency response after its pathology service, SydPath, incorrectly informed 400 people that they had returned negative COVID-19 test results.

The hospital apologised for the error in a statement released this morning. 

 “SydPath last night incorrectly messaged more than 400 people, advising them they had tested negative to COVID,” the statement read. “These people had tested positive to COVID.

“As soon as we became aware of the issue this morning, SydPath immediately commenced a process to contact impacted people. An emergency response team is now investigating the cause of this mistake, which is believed to be human error.

“We sincerely apologise to all those impacted.”

The mistake comes as Sydney clinics face a surge of testing, despite a significant drop in testing over Christmas Day, down to 109,545 COVID-19 tests compared with the previous day’s total of 149,261.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that people who attended SydPath clinics last week received text messages indicating they should expect to wait at least 48 hours to receive their results due to “high testing demand”.

The NSW government has urged people to not get tested for COVID-19 unless required, to help alleviate the “substantial pressure” on pathology services.

“We’re now getting something in the order of 130,000 to 160,000 tests a day,” said NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard.

“We need to consider why people are being tested and why we are putting the stressors on our pathology system.” 

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