Skip to content

Health Unit blames 'conflicting expert opinions' for Cassellholme COVID confusion

'Based on the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 Guidance, it is not appropriate to clear an individual of COVID-19 based on a re-test alone, however, the peculiar circumstances at Cassellholme over recent weeks warrant further study'
2020 cassellholme  sign winter turl
Cassellholme. Jeff Turl/BayToday

The North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit sent out a news release Monday evening trying to clarify details of the Cassellholme Covid outbreak

It says it is still investigating the outbreak there and is "consulting with experts in laboratory medicine and infectious disease regarding the COVID-19 test results" of some of the individuals who tested positive.

"We have received conflicting expert opinions as to whether these tests were truly positive," says an unattributed statement in the release."Based on the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 Guidance, it is not appropriate to clear an individual of COVID-19 based on a re-test alone, however, the peculiar circumstances at Cassellholme over recent weeks warrants further study."

See: Majority of Cassellholme outbreak cases have since retested as 'negative'

The release says no matter the outcome of further investigation, Cassellholme will remain in outbreak, due to the following:

  • An essential caregiver with a positive screen for a COVID-19 Variant of Concern (VOC), this individual has symptoms compatible with COVID-19, and attended the facility during their infectious period. This is not a false positive.
  • Requirements of the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 Guidance on managing cases.
  • Data provided from the original COVID-19 test results.
  • Some of the individuals having symptoms compatible with COVID-19.
  • Asymptomatic individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 connected to symptomatic individuals.

"The Health Unit does not have a one-size-fits-all approach to COVID-19 cases and outbreaks; it assesses the risks involved with each positive result individually using the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 Guidance and public health expertise and judgment," continues the release.

"Individuals who have met the Ministry of Health’s Guidance requirements are counted in our case numbers until more information is available. Our case numbers reflect the correct number of known individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19," it states.

BayToday requested a telephone interview with Dr. Jim Chirico to elaborate on the situation but received no response.


Jeff Turl

About the Author: Jeff Turl

Jeff is a veteran of the news biz. He's spent a lengthy career in TV, radio, print and online, covering both news and sports. He enjoys free time riding motorcycles and spoiling grandchildren.
Read more



Comments