04/03/2020 07:01 EDT | Updated 04/03/2020 07:03 EDT

Ontario Region Sends Negative Test Results To 16 People With COVID-19

The Region of Peel is apologizing for mistakenly mailing the wrong information.

A health-care worker closes a biohazard bag after issuing a COVID-19 test in Montreal on Sunday.

BRAMPTON, Ont. — The Region of Peel in Ontario is apologizing after it “accidentally” mailed letters to 16 residents saying their COVID-19 test results were negative when, in fact, they were positive.

Dr. Lawrence Loh, interim medical officer of health, says the letters were mailed on Tuesday and Wednesday.

He says his team is working quickly to notify these people and make sure they have what they need to manage this difficult situation.

Loh says an investigation found that several positive test slips were mixed with a batch of negative results received from labs, adding the error was not noticed until after the notification letters were mailed.

Loh says the Region of Peel, which includes Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon, made changes to their process to ensure that this does not happen to residents again.

“I know the relief those residents felt for a few moments has sadly been transformed into feelings of fear and uncertainty,” he said Thursday in a release.

“On behalf of the Region of Peel, I extend apologies to those residents impacted by this error.”

Peel Region includes more than 1.5 million people and 175,000 businesses in the two cities and one town west of Toronto.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on April 2, 2020.

Also on HuffPost: