Coronavirus continues to dominate headlines around the world, and in the U.S. all eyes are on Florida. Governor Ron DeSantis reopened the state on May 4 and was able to move to phase 2, where much of Florida is still stuck, as positive test results reach new highs. It seems that each day, a new record of cases is reported, often over 10,000.
But now, there is evidence that false positives are being reported – including to people who never took a test in the first place. At multiple testing centers, information is taken and a place in line is assigned while those awaiting tests wait in their cars or 6’ apart. However, these lines can stretch on for hours, and some of those waiting have to leave without getting tested.
When a person exits the line, their information and number then passes on to the next person waiting, which causes a chain reaction of false results for each successive person.
When a person receives a positive result on a test they never took, the responsibility falls on that person to prove the testing center wrong. Mindy Clark had this experience at Manatee Rural Health. She tested negative two days later, as well as testing negative for the antibodies.
🚨🚨THIS MORNING WE HEARD ABOUT FALSE NEGATIVE #COVID19 RESULTS IN VERMONT, NOW CONNECTICUT & FLORIDA LAST WEEK::
WHATS GOING ON FOLKS???
🚨🚨State Public Health Lab discovers false-positive COVID-19 test results
(Via WTNH News 8) https://t.co/qThXPA8OQ4
— Ava (@AlRobins2015) July 20, 2020
Dr. Jay Wolfson, a Public Health & Medicine Professor at the University of South Florida, confirms that testing centers are struggling with delivering accurate test results to those that have submitted their information.
These errors in reporting are causing Floridians to question the validity of the number of infected that are released daily.
Adding to the misinformation is the fact that many small labs are only reporting positive cases to the Department of Health, instead of all results. By not reporting negative cases as well, Florida is unable to determine the positivity rate and how much the disease is spreading.
On July 15, DeSantis announced that the labs had been contacted and educated on proper reporting, and that “they will start doing the negatives as well.”
Additionally, Orlando Health, with 450 locations, including 13 hospitals, listed on their website that 98% of their administered tests had come back positive. The hospital confirmed that number as erroneous, and that the actual positive rate was 9.4%. The story was picked up by Fox 35, Fox News, and the Washington Examiner.
Those that have received positive test results without ever taking a test are being asked to call the Florida Department of Health. The results need to be removed from their health records and the COVID-19 database.