The World Forum - July 20th, 2024

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Edmonton woman forced into isolation because of wrong COVID test


An incorrect COVID-19 test in Dallas led to an Edmonton woman being detained the Calgary airport and being sent to a federal isolation facility.

Pastor Chris Mathis wrote an emotional Facebook post Thursday night detailing what his wife, Nikki, had gone through when her flight from Dallas had arrived.

Federal law states anyone returning to Canada must have had a negative COVID-19 test before they board their aircraft. Nikki said she went for a test in Dallas but the doctor administered the wrong one.

Despite that she was able to board her flight – it was only discovered the test was invalid when she landed.

Nikki, who was returning from a business trip to Dallas, had planned on driving to Edmonton where she would complete her 14-day quarantine.

She told Global she got a COVID-19 test at a U.S. health clinic, where the doctor offered her two test options.

“I said, ‘I need to have a test that shows I’m negative for COVID and can get on an airplane,” she told Global.

When she landed it was determined by Public Health Agency of Canada and Canada Border Services Agency officials she had received an antigen test, not the required molecular COVID-19 test, said Global.

“I was told, ‘We’re going to have to take you to a location to isolate in Calgary,’” Nikki said.

She is currently waiting at the isolation centre for the results of the proper test so she can continue her trip home.

She told Global she hopes her situation acts as a cautionary tale for anyone travelling.

“Now that I know there are two different tests… just make sure [the test you’re getting] is on the molecular level.”

Alberta Health Services issued a statement saying the issue was a federal one.

“There is a lot of information in social media today about international travel,” their statement said.

“However, these are the details on Alberta Health Services’ role in international travel border pilot enforcement: AHS has no involvement in travel restrictions or enforcement measures related to mandatory quarantine.

“Requirements, including isolation orders and public health orders for travellers entering Canada through Alberta, are set out by the Federal Government and enforced by the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) and the Public Health Agency of Canada.

“AHS has no authority or responsibility for detainment. We are a healthcare delivery organization.”