At least 400 people with positive COVID-19 samples were mistakenly told they tested negative for the coronavirus just days before Christmas, as cases continue to surge due to the highly contagious Omicron variant.
The lab mistake comes as the COVID cases are skyrocketing around the world during the holiday season, causing long testing lines and delays for those waiting to get their results.
On Sunday, St. Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney, Australia, issued a release notifying the patients that their coronavirus tests were falsely reported as negative by the SydPath laboratory in New South Wales. The hospital said the individuals were sent the wrong results on Christmas Day, and the mistake is believed to be due to human error, according to Newsweek.
SydPath medical director Anthony Dodds told local media the issue was due to a large volume of tests that the lab was working to process in the days leading up to the holiday.
“Owing to the very large volume of tests that we’ve been contending with at SydPath, last night we incorrectly messaged 400 patients who had been swabbed at our centres from December 22 and December 23 advising them they had tested negative to COVID-19,” Dobbs said Sunday, according to Nine News.