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

(BLACK PRESS file photo)
Lacombe man charged after weekend stabbing

Police are asking anyone with information about the incident to come forward

The event was hosted by Darcy Stingel with audio and video support provided by Airace Productions. (Alannah Page/Lacombe Express)
Lacombe Business and Community Awards celebrates local resiliency

The awards held Saturday night were streamed by roughly 100 people across the city

Lacombe’s Got Talent hosted the finale at Lacombe’s Performing Arts Centre on Sunday Oct. 25. (Alannah Page/Lacombe Express)
Lacombe’s Got Talent: Finale showcased a wide variety of local artists

Organizers are hoping to have the local talent show become a regular event in the future.

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, confirmed more than 1,000 cases over the weekend Monday afternoon. File photo
COVID-19: Central zone active cases up Monday

‘We’ve now crossed the tipping point,’ says Hinshaw

Ryen Williams, 11, with a lost miniature horse at JJ Collett Oct. 23. Photo by Don Williams
UPDATE: Owner found

Father and son found miniature horse while out for a walk at JJ Collett

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, B.C. NDP leader John Horgan and B.C. Greens leader Sonia Furstenau. (Black Press Media)
VIDEO: One day until B.C. voters go to the polls in snap election defined by pandemic

NDP Leader John Horgan’s decision to call an election comes more than a year ahead of schedule and during a pandemic

Cases in Ponoka (East Ponoka County) as of Oct. 27. (alberta.ca)
Diagnosed cases of COVID-19 at three Ponoka businesses

Town ‘strongly encouraging’ residents to wear non-medical masks in public

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the COVID pandemic during a press conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau says pandemic ‘really sucks,’ and that Christmas gatherings are up in the air

The prime minister encouraged residents to continue to follow the advice of local health authorities

The Williams Lake Indian Band is stipulating no-go zones for mushroom picking in areas burned by last summer’s wildfires. 100 Mile Free Press photo
Who controls mushroom harvesting on Indigenous lands?

‘We don’t necessarily know where the mushrooms grow, how old the stands need to be, those types of things.’

Canadian and American flags fly near the Ambassador Bridge at the Canada/USA border crossing in Windsor, Ont. on Saturday, March 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Rob Gurdebeke
U.S. election results one factor that could impact immigration to Canada next year

The survey polled 1,523 Canadians between Oct. 23 and Oct. 25

Alberta’s provincial flag flies on a flag pole in Ottawa, Monday July 6, 2020. The Alberta government is hoping to get more Albertans employed by moving to limit the number and type of temporary foreign workers it allows into the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Alberta to limit temporary foreign worker program to save jobs for Albertans

Temporary foreign workers already in the province won’t be affected

(Emily Jaycox/Bashaw Star)
Wreath laying ceremony held in Manfred, Alta.

Ceremony marks 64th anniversary of Hungarian revolution, honours settlers

Royal Alexandra Hospital front-line workers walk a picket line after walking off the job in a wildcat strike in Edmonton, on Monday, October 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta labour board orders health-care staff who walked off the job to go back to work

Finance Minister Travis Toews said in a news release that he was pleased with the labour board’s decision

Wetaskiwin Hospital staff join AUPE walk outs across the province Monday Oct. 26, 2020. Shaela Dansereau/ The Pipestone Flyer.
City of Wetaskiwin health-care workers strike in protest of province-wide cuts

Wetaskiwin Hospital staff join other front line hospital workers across the province in walk-outs.

Most Read