UPDATE: Alert Bay case considered a false positive

·2 min read

Alert Bay leadership announced Dec. 14 that the small community had one confirmed case of COVID-19, urging residents to continue following health orders and be gracious with one another.

But a few days later, the person who was told they were positive got a second test which came back negative.

Black Press has confirmed with Alert Bay leadership that the second test was negative, but cannot confirm any further details at this time.

Due to the small, localized nature of this case, Island Health cannot comment due to patient privacy.

It does not appear to be related to the previous situation that resulted in 12 individuals receiving the wrong test data. Six people were told they were positive when they were actually negative, and six others were told they were negative when they were actually positive. Island Health caught that clerical error on Dec. 7 — the test tray had been inserted into the analyzer backwards — and immediately contact all those impacted.

READ MORE: Backwards tray results in 12 misinformed COVID-19 testees

Regardless of whether there are lab confirmed cases, Alert Bay remains vigilant to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

‘Namgis First Nation chief Don Svanvik made the original Dec. 14 announcement in a video along with Mayor Dennis Buchanan and Whe-La-La-U Area Council Society Elected Chair Councillor Andrew Speck.

The leaders reminded community members to be gracious to one another, wear masks, to stay home and get tested if they they have symptoms.

“When you’re not in your place, you’ve got to be wearing a mask. No matter where you are in your relatives’ home, whatever. Just wear that mask. Don’t feel funny about it,” Svanvik said.

Speck encouraged people to avoid judgmental comments online.

“It’s not like they’re out there looking for it. They got it and they sure don’t want to get it again … just be kind to one another. We’re all agreeing here that we can have a good Christmas as long as we practice the safe protocols and respect one another and love one another.”

Earlier in the year, 30 people were infected with COVID-19 on Cormorant Island, and one elder passed away from the virus.

This article was updated Dec. 22 to reflect the new negative test result.

Do you have something to add to this story or something else we should report on? Email: zoe.ducklow@blackpress.ca

Zoë Ducklow, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, North Island Gazette