As COVID-19 continues to rage across the country, reports of alarming false test results are also rising.
Connecticut’s Department of Public Health recently announced that 90 tests from the state’s laboratory were false positives. Last month, University of Kentucky Health Care notified 26 patients of errant tests caused by a ‘software flaw’ in a testing platform.
While most documented false positive tests have been blamed on technology, others are unrelated to the testing process entirely. In many states, including Florida and Ohio, individuals have reported receiving calls and letters notifying them that they had tested positive for COVID-19 without even taking a test.
Floridian Mindy Clark told WWSB that a few days after leaving an appointment to test for the virus at a drive-thru site, she received a call from Manatee Rural Health notifying her of a ‘positive’ result. Clark was never even swabbed; she had left the drive-thru before undergoing a test.
Dr. Jay Wolfson, an Associate Dean at the University of South Florida’s med school, outlined what he believes to be the issue at hand.
“I’ve got to go someplace else [hypothetically], I’ve got an appointment, I’ve got to do something, I have a dentist appointment, I’ve got to pick up my kid and I leave the line, so Robert [hypothetically] is behind me, so Robert gets reclassified perhaps as number fifteen and they mistakenly put your name in that slot and they probably figure it out after one or two and say we got it wrong, we think we did, so they catch up but one or two people wind up getting somebody else’s test results,” Dr. Wolfson told Robert Guaderrama at FOX 35.
Alarmingly, the cancellation issue has been reported at non-drive thru testing sites as well.
A Columbus, Ohio resident reportedly received a test result in the mail without ever stepping foot in the testing site.
On the day of his scheduled appointment, something came up, so he canceled. A few days later, he opened an envelope enclosing a false-positive result.
As of August 3rd, the U.S. has 4.6 million “confirmed” cases of coronavirus. However, many are becoming skeptical of that number due to a plethora of testing errors, wondering if there are even more – or perhaps way less – confirmed cases than what is being reported.