A major Sydney hospital incorrectly told more than 400 people on Christmas Day their Covid test results were negative when they were actually infected with the virus.
The Sydney Pathology testing centre at St Vincent’s Hospital in Darlinghurst text messaged hundreds of people on Saturday night informing them they had produced negative results.
In a statement released Sunday, SydPath said ‘human error’ had seen those people misinformed and they were all in fact positive.
The Sydney Pathology testing centre at St Vincent’s Hospital text messaged hundreds on Christmas informing them they’d produced negative tests when they were actually positive
In a comment from the clinic, the pathology unit said they only became aware of the issue on Boxing Day morning.
‘SydPath last night incorrectly messaged more than 400 people, advising them they had tested negative to COVID. These people had tested positive to COVID,’ a spokesman said.
‘As soon we became aware of the issue this morning, SydPath immediately commenced a process to contact impacted people.’
The team are now urgently contacting those who had been wrongfully diagnosed as negative, potentially spreading the virus at family events on Christmas.
‘An emergency response team is now investigating the cause of this mistake, which is believed to be human error,’ SydPath said.
‘We sincerely apologise to all those impacted.’
St Vincent’s and SydPath also run the drive-through clinic at Bondi Beach, which saw queues for up to three hours in the days leading to Christmas.
Cars snaked around the block again for a consecutive day at Bondi on Sunday as concerned NSW residents got tested for Covid
The state hit another record number of cases on Sunday with 6,394 new infections despite tests falling from 149,000 to 109,000 on Christmas Day.
Hospitalisations are at 458, up from 388 on Saturday, but the number of patients in ICU remains steady at 52.
‘Bottom line here is that we’re all going to get Omicron,’ Health Minister Brad Hazzard said at a press conference with Mr Perrottet on Boxing Day.
‘The challenge for us in the state is to make sure that our health system can cope with that on coming virus… [And] the best way to face it is when we have full vaccination including our booster.’
Mr Perrottet echoed this sentiment, also saying ‘we’re all going to get Omicron’, and asked residents for help in reducing the strain on testing clinics.
He said to only get a PCR test for Covid if they are symptomatic and to otherwise opt for a home rapid antigen test.
NSW Premier and Health Minister Brad Hazzard fronted a press conference in Sydney on Sunday (pictured) as they encouraged residents to take up Covid vaccine booster shots
Mr Perrottet urged Australians to refrain from getting a PCR test unless advised by officials, were symptomatic, or travelling.
‘If you do not feel unwell, if you are not required to be tested and have not been directed so by NSW Health, or you are not travelling interstate and that is a requirement, there is no need to be tested,’ he said.
‘We can’t have are people sitting in testing queues which takes away from people who are unwell and who need that test because we want to get those tests back as quickly as possible.’
Mr Hazzard said the state’s pathology system is struggling as hundreds of thousands of residents have flocked to clinics for tests before travelling interstate.