Coronavirus update: Florida labs not reporting negative test results, report says

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Incomplete reporting from some Florida laboratories resulted in errors on the state’s report on virus positivity rates, according to a Fox 35 News report.

“Countless labs have reported a 100 percent positivity rate, which means every single person tested was positive,” Fox 35 News reported. “Other labs had very high positivity rates.”

Orlando Health, for example, reported a 98 percent positivity rate. Lee Memorial Hospital Lab, PanCare of Florida, Inc and Advance Medical of Naples all reported 100 percent positivity rates; no negative results were included.

That rate implies every person tested had a positive result. Fox News has reached out to the organizations with a request for comment.

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Fox 35 News said it investigated the numbers by contacting every local location listed in the report. Orlando Health confirmed errors in the report, and its positivity rate is said to be 9.4 percent, not 98 percent as listed.

Similarly, a VA spokesperson told Fox 35 News that the Orlando Veterans Affairs Medical Center’s positivity rate is actually 6 percent, not 76 percent as seen on the report. Fox News has reached out to the Orlando Veterans Affairs Medical Center with a request for comment on this story.

The Florida Department of Health confirmed to Fox 35 News on Tuesday that though private and public laboratories are required to immediately report both positive and negative cases, “some have not.”

“Specifically, they said that some smaller, private labs were not reporting negative test result data to the state,” Fox 35 News reported.

"The Department immediately began working with those labs to ensure that all results were being reported in order to provide comprehensive and transparent data," a spokesperson for the Florida Department of Health told Fox 35 News. "As the state continues to receive results from various labs, the Department will continue educating these labs on proper protocol for reporting COVID-19 test results."

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Florida recently set new national records for the largest daily increases in cases. On Sunday, the state reported 15,300 new cases, and on Monday, officials announced the second-highest statewide increase at 12,624.

In a Monday update, the state health department reported a total of 282,435 cases with 4,277 related deaths.

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