News and Commentary

Florida Labs Found Significantly Inflating Positive COVID Testing Rate
A health department worker checks in a man wearing a mask to be tested for COVID-19 at a drive through testing site at Osceola Heritage Park.
Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Florida State Health Department confirmed Tuesday that some testing laboratories in the state have not been disclosing their negative novel coronavirus testing results accurately, skewing the positivity rates dramatically.

Moreover, two labs were discovered to have inflated their positivity rates of the virus by a factor of ten.

“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 explained Tuesday, noting that one local Centra Care laboratory reported all 83 people tested were found to have the virus, and NCF Diagnostics in Alachua reported 88% of their tests were positive.

The news station investigated the suspect “astronomical” findings and found the data was skewed by the lack of reported negative tests.

For example, Orlando Veteran’s Medical Center’s reported positivity rate of 76% is actually around 6%, a spokesperson for the center revealed. The report added, “Orlando Health’s positivity rate is only 9.4 percent, not 98 percent as in the report.”

The Florida Department of Health confirmed Tuesday that “although private and public laboratories are required to report positive and negative results to the state immediately, some have not,” FOX 35 reported. “Specifically, they said that some smaller, private labs were not reporting negative test result data to the state.”

A spokesperson for the Florida Department of Health said the agency is working with the labs on “proper protocol” to ensure reporting on all testing results.

“The Department immediately began working with those labs to ensure that all results were being reported in order to provide comprehensive and transparent data,” the spokesperson said. “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.”

Florida has garnered dire media headlines over their recent surge in positive coronavirus test results. The Sunshine State hit a record high on Monday, with a reported 12,000 positive tests.

According to Bay News 9, Dr. Raul Pino with Florida Dept. of Health-Orange County theorized that the spike in positives tests was partly because of a “backlogged test results being added to the state’s data,” “added labs entering results electronically,” and “daily tests inside the so-called ‘Disney Bubble’ for the NBA and the MLS.”

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, has been repeatedly criticized by Democrats and mainstream media outlets for refusing to dictate blanket, strict social distancing measures on his citizens, instead opting for a more targeted approach with a focus on the elderly, who are most vulnerable to the virus.

Though the state of Florida has not come close to the catastrophic results in liberal New York, where more draconian measures and deadly nursing home orders (which have since been rescinded) were imposed by Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the media have frequently praised the Democrat for his handling of the crises while slamming DeSantis.

According to data provided by the Florida Health Department on Tuesday, the state, which has a population of about 21.4 million, has had over 4,400 deaths attributed to the virus. New York, a state with an estimated population of 19.5 million, has had more than 32,000.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Florida Labs Found Significantly Inflating Positive COVID Testing Rate