A Florida hospital testing for coronavirus confirmed to a local television station that it’s positivity rate was overstated by a factor of 10. This raises concerns that a number of Florida’s labs are hyping infection rates and could be indicative of how COVID-19 levels are measured in other states too.
FOX 35 INVESTIGATES: Florida Department of Health says some labs have not reported negative COVID-19 results
By Robert Guaderrama, Fox 35 Orlando
ORLANDO, Fla. – After FOX 35 News noticed errors in the state’s report on positivity rates, the Florida Department of Health said that some laboratories have not been reporting negative test result data to the state.
Countless labs have reported a 100 percent positivity rate, which means every single person tested was positive. Other labs had very high positivity rates. FOX 35 News found that testing sites like one local Centra Care reported that 83 people were tested and all tested positive. Then, NCF Diagnostics in Alachua reported 88 percent of tests were positive.
How could that be? FOX 35 News investigated these astronomical numbers, contacting every local location mentioned in the report.
The report showed that Orlando Health had a 98 percent positivity rate. However, when FOX 35 News contacted the hospital, they confirmed errors in the report. Orlando Health’s positivity rate is only 9.4 percent, not 98 percent as in the report.
Florida is currently experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases, reporting the state’s daily reported cases have gone from about 2,000 a day a month ago to over 12,000. Then, on Tuesday, state health officials reported the largest single-day increase in deaths yet, as 132 more were announced.
Doctors had been predicting that a surge in deaths would follow Florida’s jump in daily reported cases. The growing caseload is partly driven by increased testing, but a larger percentage of tests are coming back positive, jumping from 6 percent a month ago to more than 18 percent.
PHOTO CREDIT: By NIAID Rocky Mountain Laboratories (RML), U.S. NIH – https://www.niaid.nih.gov/news-events/novel-coronavirus-sarscov2-images, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=87089606