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

“We have to make a call out to address this now so our people don’t have to feel fearful,” said Tribal Chief Mina Holmes. (Carrier Sekani Tribal Council Facebook photo)
Carrier Sekani Tribal Council seeks Indigenous-led task force in northern B.C. hospitals

Request made in an open letter to federal minister Carolyn Bennett

NDP headquarters on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
ELECTION 2020: Live blog from B.C. party headquarters

BC NDP projected to win majority government – but celebrations will look different this election

Jennifer Rice BC NDP North Coast Incumbent was re-elected for a third according to the preliminary results on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Jennifer Rice is North Coast MLA for third term

Preliminary election results show NDP Majority government

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party's climate action platform at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (News Bulletin file photo)
Green leader Furstenau declared victor in her home riding on Vancouver Island

Cowichan Valley voters elect freshly minted party leader for her second term

Physical distancing signs are a common sight in B.C. stores and businesses. THE CANADIAN PRESS
272 more COVID-19 cases for B.C., outbreak at oil sands project

Three new health care outbreaks, three declared over

This house at 414 Royal Ave. became notorious for its residents’ and visitors’ penchant for attracting police. It was also the site of a gruesome torture in August 2018. It was demolished in 2019. KTW
6-year sentence for Kamloops man who helped carve ‘rat’ into flesh of fellow gang member

Ricky Dennis was one of three men involved in the August 2018 attack

Cpl. Nathan Berze, media officer for the Mission RCMP, giving an update on the investigation at 11:30 a.m., Oct. 30. Patrick Penner photo.
VIDEO: Prisoner convicted of first-degree murder still at large from Mission Institution

When 10 p.m. count was conducted, staff discovered Roderick Muchikekwanape had disappeared

Among the pumpkin carvings created this year by Rick Chong of Abbotsford is this tribute to fallen officer Cont. Allan Young.
Abbotsford pumpkin carver’s creations include fallen police officer

Rick Chong carves and displays 30 pumpkins every year

An online fundraising campaign in support of the six-year-old boy, Edgar Colby, who was hit by a car on Range Road Oct. 25 has raised more than $62,000 in a day. (Submitted)
$62K raised in 1 day for boy in coma at BC Children’s after being hit by vehicle in Yukon

The boy’s aunt says the family is “very grateful” for the support they’ve received from the community

Health care employees take extensive precautions when working with people infected or suspected of having COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
WorkSafeBC disallows majority of COVID-19 job injury claims

Health care, social services employees filing the most claims

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole rises during Question Period in the House of Commons in Ottawa on Wednesday October 28, 2020. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)
Conversion therapy ban gets approval in principle, exposes Conservative divisions

Erin O’Toole himself voted in favour of the bill, as did most Conservative MPs

CBSA. (Black Press Media File)
4 sentenced in B.C. steroid smuggling, distribution ring that spilled into U.S.

Canadian Border Services Agency announced the results of a lengthy investigation it called ‘Project Trajectory’

Most Read