What d FAQ? COVID-19 and You: Reporting Positive Results
Q: What are the reporting requirements for positive COVID-19 tests?
A: The Public Health Regulations impose certain obligations on private medical labs, medical practitioners and the person being tested to report and forward their positive test results to the Chief Medical Officer and the Regional Health Authority (in the area of which the person who tested lives or works). There is no requirement that the lab be approved by CARPHA to conduct COVID-19 testing.
These persons must report their results once a medical lab or a medical practitioner tests, or a medical practitioner refers a person for testing. These reporting requirements do not seem to apply where a person performs a self test or persons other than a medical practitioner performs the test. Although the Public Health Regulations don't define 'medical practitioner' the common sense meaning is medical doctors only - not dentists, medical interns, paramedics or nurses. This would also follow the meaning of 'medical practitioner' used in the Emergency Powers [2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Vaccination] Regulations, 2021 that 'medical practitioner' means any person registered under the Medical Board Act.
Importantly, the language used is "where [a private lab tests a person or a medical practitioner refers a person for testing and the result is positive], the private medical laboratory or medical practitioner and the person so tested shall immediately report...." . This means that the person tested must report their positive results to the CMO and RHA in addition to either the lab or the referring doctor.
Q: What COVID-19 tests are subject to these reporting requirements?
A: Since the Public Health Regulations don't define the type of test to which the Regulations refer, it's safe to assume that it refers to both antigen (also known as lateral flow) and PCR tests.
Again, with respect to the antigen tests, this reporting requirement seemingly does not apply where a self-test is done. If you have performed a self-test and are positive and wish to clarify this, consult with your lawyer. If you do not have a lawyer you can read more about choosing one here.
Q: Do positive test results really need to be reported?
A: Yes. The law criminalises the failure of any private lab, medical practitioner or person to report and forward the results to the Chief Medical Officer and Regional Health Authority. In such a case, the owner or operator of the private medical laboratory, the medical practitioner or the person being tested (as the case may be) may be liable on summary conviction a fine of $250,000.00 and imprisonment for 6 months.
Last updated: 14 April 2023.