‘Huge relief’: Nunavut’s first coronavirus case a false positive

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Canada’s High Arctic may still be free of the novel coronavirus.

A case of COVID-19 supposedly confirmed in the remote Nunavut community of Pond Inlet last week has turned out to be a false positive.

“Huge relief,” said David Stockley, the hamlet’s chief administrative officer.

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“It answered a lot of prayers for a lot of people.”

Last Thursday, the territory reported what it thought was its first case of infection — a person in the hamlet of about 1,600 on the northern tip of Baffin Island.

On Monday, the territory’s chief medical health officer said there had been a false positive by a lab in Ontario. Nunavut does its tests twice — once in Iqaluit and then a confirmatory test in the south.

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After the initial positive test, Nunavut scrambled an emergency response team to the community to trace the person’s contacts. When all those contacts tested negative in Iqaluit, a request was made to retest the samples of the person thought to be infected.

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The retest reversed the original conclusion.

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