Why wasn't Justin Trudeau, Canada Prime Minister, tested for COVID19 when his wife caught it?

1

Why wasn't Justin Trudeau tested, when his wife tested positive in Mar 2020? I'm not referring to his negative test in Oct 2020.

On Mar 28 2020, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau says she has recovered from COVID-19

Since testing positive more than two weeks ago, Grégoire Trudeau had some of the flu-like symptoms that come with the virus, but also a persistent headache.

Trudeau has been in self-isolation since his wife's positive test in an effort to stop the spread of the virus to other cabinet ministers and high-ranking government officials. Trudeau has never personally experienced any of the symptoms, and he has not been tested for the virus.

On Oct 5 2020, "In September, I had a bit of a throat tickle is probably the best way I could say it, a bit of a raspy throat. So I checked with my doctor and he recommended I get tested. I got tested. It was negative. And I went back to work a few days later when that when the doctor told me I was clear to do it," Trudeau told reporters on Monday.

This was the first time Trudeau spoke publicly about being tested for the virus. It remains unclear where, and exactly when the prime minister got tested.

Nai

Posted 2020-10-05T20:59:12.183

Reputation: 1

Question was closed 2020-10-06T00:19:50.500

Answers

5

At the time, testing availability throughout Canada was very low. On March 14, the Ontario government restricted availability of testing.

CTV News wrote at the time:

“In an effort to maintain capacity and make better use of supply, and in recognition that anyone travelling outside of the country is being asked to self-isolate for 14 days, we’re prioritizing those individuals without travel history with symptoms,” Travis Khan, the communications director for Health Minister Christine Elliott, said in an email to CTVNews.ca on Saturday.

Individuals who are still eligible for testing include people with symptoms who are contacts of confirmed cases, those who have been admitted to hospital with acute respiratory illness, health-care workers with symptoms or who are part of an investigation into an institutional outbreak, people living in long-term care homes and retirement homes, and First Nation community members living on reserve.

“Testing outside of these recommendations based on public health and clinical judgement can be made in consultation with local public health officials,” the guidance states. “As this goal is for prioritization of those that are at highest risk, this… decision should be made by exception.”

As Mr. Trudeau did not meet these criteria at the time, and given he was not displaying symptoms, it was probably deemed that a test was not appropriate or necessary at that time.

Joe C

Posted 2020-10-05T20:59:12.183

Reputation: 24 617

1Aren't there exceptions for important people like Ministers? – Nai – 2020-10-05T21:23:59.767

3@Nai There could be, but politically there could also be a cost to being seen to receive "special treatment". If he's isolated himself and isn't showing symptoms, a positive test would not change his behavior or treatment. – Bryan Krause – 2020-10-05T23:33:42.913

@Nai It's also worth remembering that health is a provincial matter, which could mean that the Government of Ontario may need to sign off any such exceptions. – Joe C – 2020-10-06T20:03:10.013