A privacy breach has been reported to the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit regarding its online COVID-19 dashboard.

The Health Unit announced Thursday that personal identifying information was made accessible through the dashboard – which was brought to their attention through a member of the public.

Meanwhile the Health Unit is also reporting a new case of community exposure with a positive test for a female under 19 from the Parry Sound District.

The dashboard contains information related to the number of COVID-19 tests and confirmed cases in the community.

The Health Unit notes the likelihood that someone else accessed the information is quite low because it was not immediately visible, and accessing it required a number of steps that were not obvious.

Information that was accidentally made accessible was first and last name, municipality, unique identifying number, testing date and location, and the test result.

It may also have included a telephone number.

“Our team has been working around the clock to ensure our community is safe, cared for and has access to accurate and timely information as we collectively battle COVID-19,” Medical Officer of Health Dr. Jim Chirico said. “We also take very seriously our obligation to respect and maintain individual privacy. This mistake should not have happened, and I am very sorry it did.”

According to the Health Unit, there was no other health, financial or personal information accessible through our dashboard, and it has since been removed from their website.

After it was made aware of the issue, the Health Unit immediately removed the information from its website and launched an investigation.

The privacy breach affects those individuals whose permanent address is in the Health Unit district that were tested for COVID-19 on or before May 8, 2020.

“We are reviewing our training and quality processes to ensure such mistakes do not happen again,” Dr. Chirico added.

The incident has been reported to the appropriate authorities, including the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario.

Those affected will be notified by telephone or mail.

The public is urged to reach out to the Health Unit directly with any questions through its call centre at 1-800-563-2808 and select option seven or through their website.