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

2020 Ponoka business awards
Ponoka chamber 2020 Business Award winners

The Ponoka and District Chamber of Commerce 2020 Business Awards were held… Continue reading

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

Alberta has 3,651 active cases of COVID-19. (File photo)
432 new COVID cases sets another record Friday

Central zone holds steady at 126 active cases

(Emily Jaycox/Ponoka News)
Ponoka FCSS’ Empty Bowls sells out

For the first time ever, Ponoka Family and Community Support Services’ (FCSS’s)… Continue reading

"We are looking seriously at the spread and determining what our next steps should be," says Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, as the daily number of COVID-19 cases continues to climb.
427 new COVID cases is highest in Alberta ever

Central zone has 126 active cases of COVID-19

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

Comedic actor Seth Rogen, right, and business partner Evan Goldberg pose in this undated handout photo. When actor Seth Rogen was growing up and smoking cannabis in Vancouver, he recalls there was a constant cloud of shame around the substance that still lingers. Rogen is determined to change that. (Maarten de Boer ohoto)
Seth Rogen talks about fighting cannabis stigma, why pot should be as accepted as beer

‘I smoke weed all day and every day and have for 20 years’

Leader of the Opposition Erin O’Toole rises during Question Period in the House of Commons Thursday October 22, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
O’Toole tells Alberta UCP AGM Liberals were ‘late and confused’ on COVID response

He says Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has taken charge and not waited to make things happen

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney arrives for an announcement at a news conference in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Inquiry into oil and gas foes to deliver report next year: Kenney

A lawsuit filed by environmental law firm Ecojustice argues the inquiry is politically motivated

The Canadian border is pictured at the Peace Arch Canada/USA border crossing in Surrey, B.C. Friday, March 20, 2020. More than 4.6 million people have arrived in Canada since the border closed last March and fewer than one-quarter of them were ordered to quarantine while the rest were deemed “essential” and exempted from quarantining. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Majority of international travellers since March deemed ‘essential’, avoid quarantine

As of Oct. 20, 3.5 million travellers had been deemed essential, and another 1.1 million were considered non-essential

This photo provided by Air Force Reserve shows a sky view of Hurricane Epsilon taken by Air Force Reserve hurricane hunter team over the Atlantic Ocean taken Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020.   Epsilon’s maximum sustained winds have dropped slightly as it prepares to sideswipe Bermuda on a path over the Atlantic Ocean.  The National Hurricane Center says it should come close enough Thursday, Oct. 22, evening to merit a tropical storm warning for the island.  (Air Force Reserve via AP)
Hurricane Epsilon expected to remain offshore but will push waves at Atlantic Canada

Epsilon is not expected to have any real impact on land

A voter places her absentee ballot in the ballot box, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020, at Merrill Auditorium in Portland, Maine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Robert F. Bukaty
American voters living in Canada increasingly being counted in presidential race

The largest number of Canadian-based American voters cast their ballots in New York and California

A composite image of three photographs shows BC NDP Leader John Horgan, left, in Coquitlam, B.C., on Sept. 25, 2020; BC Green Party Leader Sonia Furstenau, centre, in Victoria on Sept. 24, 2020; and BC Liberal Party Leader Andrew Wilkinson Pitt Meadows, B.C., on Sept. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck, Chad Hipolito
British Columbia votes in snap election called during COVID-19 pandemic

NDP Leader John Horgan called the snap election one year before the fixed voting date

Nunavut's provincial flag flies on a flag pole in Ottawa, on Tuesday June 30, 2020. The annual report from Nunavut's representative for children and youth says "complacency and a lack of accountability" in the territory's public service means basic information about young people needing services isn’t tracked. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Nunavut’s young people ‘should be expecting more’ from government services: advocate

‘The majority of information we requested is not tracked or was not provided by departments’

Most Read