Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference Monday, Oct. 5, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference Monday, Oct. 5, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Trudeau tested negative for COVID in August after feeling throat ‘tickle’

A written statement from the Prime Minister’s Office said Trudeau’s results came back Aug. 28

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday that he tested negative for COVID-19 recently after he developed a “tickle” in his throat.

It is the first time Trudeau has revealed he was ever tested for the illness. He said he was not tested last March when his wife, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, tested positive because public health advice at the time was that only people with symptoms should seek testing.

Trudeau never showed symptoms at that time but isolated at his Rideau Cottage home for a month, during a time most Canadians were also in strict lockdowns.

He initially told reporters Monday the test he did have occurred “earlier in September” but his office later clarified it happened Aug. 27.

Trudeau said he had a “throat tickle.”

”I checked with my doctor and he recommended I get tested,” he said. “I got tested. It was negative and I went back to work a few days later when the doctor told me I was cleared to do it.”

A written statement from the Prime Minister’s Office said Trudeau’s results came back Aug. 28.

Trudeau’s spokesman said the prime minister did not get the test through a private option available to members of Parliament.

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole turned to that option mid-September, when long lines at Ottawa testing sites left he and his family unable to get tested there.

O’Toole tested positive, but has recovered and returned to work. His wife, Rebecca, and their two children also initially tested negative, but Rebecca later tested positive after exhibiting symptoms and going for a second test at an Ottawa public testing site.

Shortly before he revealed he had been tested, Trudeau criticized reports of private tests in several provinces, saying he would be speaking to Health Minister Patty Hajdu to follow up on the issue later in the day.

“It is foundational to Canada that everyone has access to health care,” Trudeau said when asked about those reports. “This is something we all know is extremely important. I have seen these reports on private clinics and testing and I will be speaking with the health minister later today to ensure follow up on this.”

Hajdu said later Monday she has asked her department to look into “the nature of the clinics” providing tests, “but generally no, we prefer that there isn’t a two-tier public health system.

“In fact, the law says explicitly that should not exist and we have a number of measures under the Canada Health Act if that’s happening,” she said.

As thousands of Canadians are waiting hours, if not days, to be swabbed and get their results, numerous reports have emerged about private options for COVID-19 testing, with patients who can afford it able to pay as much as $250 for tests in multiple cities across Canada.

Ontario Power Generation has set up private testing for its employees and their families. The House of Commons has an on-call doctor who can arrange a private test for MPs if need be.

Trudeau said in May that he will take an antibody test when one becomes widely available to see if it is possible he had an asymptomatic case of the illness.

Some studies have suggested as many as 40 per cent of the people who are infected with COVID-19 never show any symptoms.

Mia Rabson, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

CoronavirusJustin Trudeau

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A woman wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 uses walking sticks while walking up a hill, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Interior Health reports 83 more COVID-19 infections overnight

46 cases are now associated with a COVID-19 community cluster in Revelstoke

Cariboo Chilcotin MLA Lorne Doerkson (right) with his partner Shelley Wiese participated in an BC Liberals Caucus virtual oath ceremony Friday, Nov. 27. Doerkson was appointed opposition critic of rural development by interim leader Shirley Bond. (Photo submitted)
Cariboo Chilcotin MLA appointed rural development opposition critic

Newly-elected Lorne Doerkson said it will be an honour to work for all rural consituents

Yunesit’in Chief Lennon Solomon signs a memorandum of understanding with COS Insp. Len Butler. The five-year agreement was signed outside the Tsilhqot’in National Government in downtown Williams Lake on Nov. 30. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
Yunesit’in Government, Conservation Officer Service team up to address illegal moose hunting

Protection of moose a key focus of recently signed memorandum of understanding

A man wearing a face mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19 walks past a mural in Vancouver on Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
212 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health over the weekend

A total of 490 cases remain active; 15 in hospital

Clinton fire hall, date unknown. Photo credit: Submitted
Clinton Volunteer Fire Department seeks funding for gear, equipment

More equipment needed after successful recruitment drive.

A tongue-in-cheek message about wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 on a sign outside a church near Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection count climbs back up to 656

20 more people in hospital, active cases still rising

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Interior Health said its new toll-free line will help people connect to health-care services. (File)
Interior Health expands toll-free line to improve access to community care

By calling1-800-707-8550, people can be connected to several health-care services

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. researchers launch study to test kids, young adults for COVID-19 antibodies

Kids and youth can often be asymptomatic carriers of the novel coronavirus

A sign is seen this past summer outside the Yunesit’in Government office west of Williams Lake reminding visitors and members to stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
B.C. First Nation leaders await privacy commissioner decision on COVID-19 information

Release of life-saving data cannot wait, says coalition of First Nations

MLA Jennifer Whiteside is B.C.’s new minister of education. She is speaking out against Chilliwack school trustee Barry Neufeld and asking him to resign. (Black Press)
New education minister calls on Chilliwack trustee to resign

Whiteside echoes former minister’s promise to look at options to remove Barry Neufeld

Peter Beckett. ~ File photo
Supreme Court of Canada to decide if it will hear appeal in 2010 wife murder trial

Peter Beckett has stood trial twice for murder in connection with the death of his wife, Laura Letts-Beckett

Most Read