Florida’s COVID-19 positivity rate accurate? Labs not reporting negative test results

An American Medical Response health worker holds a swab test at the COVID-19 drive-thru testing center at Holiday Park in Fort Lauderdale.


According to WWSB


Coronavirus cases continue to rise in Florida, but there’s now reports that some of these numbers are not being calculated accurately. Hundreds of facilities across the state are reporting a 100% positivity rate for COVID-19 test results. That means, every single person who got tested at these hospitals or labs, tested positive. This is not accurate.

No local hospitals or big laboratories have reported inaccurate data like this, but other labs like Quest Diagnostic did fall under this list. They’re positivity rate was 100% when in reality, only 25% of their cases are positive.

“This is a real problem because the percentage positive ratio is an important metric for reopening the economy and schools. If you add to the numerator and not to the denominator, you’re biasing that ratio upwards, so we’re getting misleading information. Even worse, now that people know about this, this is seriously undermining the credibility of the Florida Department of Health statistics, so we don’t really know what’s accurate and what’s not accurate,” explained Dr. Rebel Cole, a business professor at Florida Atlantic University, which is about to publish its own data tracker.

The Florida Department of Health has confirmed that close to 400 laboratories were not reporting negative COVID-19 test results to them.

“All COVID-19 cases are confirmed through diagnostic and antigen testing and then reported to the state by the labs performing the testing. Private and public laboratories are required to report positive and negative test results to the state immediately,” the Florida Department of Health said Wednesday in a written statement.


Florida coronavirus tests: Hospital disputes 100% positive report

These labs are mostly small, independent labs or small labs within big hospitals, but they make up a big portion of the positivity percentage for the state. The exclusion of negatives has the potential to skew a key statistic known as the positivity rate, or the percent of total tests that are positive, an indicator of community spread - which is what officials use to determine if they should continue re-opening the economy or shut it down again.

“There’s no question that this disease is growing greatly, and even if the negative test results weren’t reported, which is not the way to do things, the fact that we have positives means it is real and is spreading. It’s just the context and the way it’s being presented that needs to be improved. They can’t let that happen,” said Dr. Jay Wolfson, a Public Health Medicine Professor at the University of South Florida.


Florida’s COVID-19 positivity rate accurate? Labs not reporting negative test results Florida’s COVID-19 positivity rate accurate? Labs not reporting negative test results Reviewed by Anson Moore on July 16, 2020 Rating: 5

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.