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Concerns arise as some receive positive COVID-19 results but never got tested

WWSB Tampa logo WWSB Tampa 7/20/2020
Concerns Over COVID-19 Test Results © Provided by WWSB Tampa Concerns Over COVID-19 Test Results

SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Coronavirus continues to spread quickly across the state. Plus, now, on the Suncoast, although testing has been made more available, many say there are some problems in really getting a handle on how much the virus is in our community.

It has nothing to do with being able to get tested, but instead the results. The quickest turnaround is about 48 hours, and the majority of the time, it can take about a week of finding out if you’re infected our not. However, the most recent issue is getting back results that aren’t even yours.

“I got a call asking for me, and they told me that I had tested positive. I was like, ‘Positive for what?” Then, the lady said for COVID, and I said, ‘That’s impossible. I never got tested, Ma’am,’” Mindy Clark said.

Clark had gone to the drive thru testing sight at Manatee Rural Health, but before she was able to get swabbed, she left the line because she realized it was for people with symptoms only.

“I told them they needed to take this off my record, and they said I had to prove it to them that I wasn’t positive,” Clark continued.

She tested negative just two days later, and also tested negative for the antibodies. Plus, according to many of our viewers, this hasn’t only happened to her.

Clark says if she and many others have been incorrectly identified as positive in the state’s system so easily, how accurate are the numbers that are released daily?

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“This is part of the testing mechanism problem. People are sitting in their cars, sometimes for hours, or standing in line, six feet apart sometimes for hours. You’re registered though, you’re number 15 in line, and you are Jay Wolfson. If Jay Wolfson says he can’t wait any longer and he leaves, it will get number 15 and now get Rebecca Fernandez, who was standing behind him, and she tests positive, and then everyone from then on gets the wrong results. There has to be a better way to do this,” explained Dr. Jay Wolfson, Public Health & Medicine Professor for the University of South Florida.

While all this is happening, the virus continues to spread since the right people are not identified.

“It’s such a bad time. These last five months have been so bad. People don’t need these added mistakes. Everyone is already so nervous and trying so hard, and these mistakes are really causing more anxiety in people,” Clark expressed.

“The trust is real, but the disease is more real. Trust the fact that the disease is real. The data may be confusing, the state has to clean up their act, but the disease is real and very concerning. Protect yourself. Be safe out there. Be safe and be well,” said Dr. Jay Wolfson.

If you’ve received a test result, but were never actually tested for COVID-19, be sure to call the Florida Department of Health and get it sorted out. Making sure those results are removed from your health record and the COVID-19 database.

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