Published: July 15, 2020  Updated: July 15, 2020 at 7:57 am EST

The Coronavirus data is vital to understanding the actual outbreak at large so the government and private entities can appropriately respond to the situation. Some labs in Florida, have massively overstated their positivity rate. Countless labs have reported a 100 percent positivity rate, and in reality, after some investigation, those numbers are drastically lower.

Countless labs in Florida reported a 100 percent positivity rate, and according to the Florida Department of Health, some labs are not reporting negative test result data to the state which is skewing the percentages. For example, Centra Care reported that 83 people were tested and all tested positive. Then, NCF Diagnostics in Alachua reported 88 percent of tests were positive. The report showed a 98 percent positivity rate, however, after Fox investigated, the actual positivity rate is only 9.4 percent.

That is a drastic difference. The lab reported to the state a 98 percent positivity rate, but upon further investigation, the actual was only 9.4 percent. In addition, the Orlando Veteran’s Medical Center had a positivity rate of 76 percent; however, after inquiry, the actual positivity rate is only 6 percent.

“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 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.”

The labs that are incorrectly reporting data should face a penalty as the positivity percentage for Florida has drastically risen in recent weeks. It’s been no secret that Florida is experiencing a surge in Coronavirus cases. However, what is alarming is that a larger percentage of tests are coming back positive; just a month ago the average positivity rate was 6 percent, now it’s 18 percent.

However, is that accurate? Given the latest information regarding the skewed numbers, it could be alleged that the positivity rate has jumped because some labs are incorrectly reporting the negative cases as well. Depending on how the state calculates the average it could potentially drastically alter the actual numbers.

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Reports, like the one published by the Florida Department of Health, should be released by all state’s local Health Departments so public investigations can occur and to ensure transparency.

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