TAMPA, Fla. — What is the impact on overall state testing numbers following news that AdventHealth questions the results of more than 33,000?
10News asked the Department of Health that basic question on Saturday, Sunday and again on Monday. The Department of Health did not respond. The data is used, in part, to determine reopening.
The latest numbers from the state show 653,081 have been tested for COVID-19 with more than 1,400 still awaiting results.
AdventHealth said it terminated its contract with a third-party lab after delays in processing led them to question the reliability of results. It impacts roughly 8,000 tests in the AdventHealth West Florida Division and more than 25,000 in the Central Florida Division.
Dr. Marissa Levine with USF Health says it’s not an insignificant number but doesn’t mean the state needs to adjust plans to reopen. She says one of the biggest issues is reducing confidence in testing.
“No test is perfect, so we’re doing the best we can with the results that we have, and we have to assume when you get a result, that’s the best result that we can give you at this time. But, I think it’s incumbent upon the lab itself to be fully transparent in terms of what happened, why it happened, and how we can prevent these type of things from happening again,” she said.
AdventHealth has not confirmed which third-party lab is to blame for this and denied interview requests. It also would not answer how and when they became aware of a potential problem.
Rick Martin, CEO of Texas-based MicroGenDX, says his lab is the one in question. He said his lab manufactured the tests and processed them for AdventHealth hospitals nationwide.
Martin says the results are reliable, but acknowledged significant delays in processing tests. He said in some cases it took 12 days to process coronavirus tests from AdventHealth.
According to Martin, CAP inspectors will review and investigate to determine reliability.
AdventHealth says it also notified appropriate regulatory agencies.
“We stand by our initial statement and have notified the appropriate regulatory agencies of the issues we experienced with this lab. Our complete focus is on notifying and accommodating every consumer who has been impacted by this situation. Our teams are working around the clock to contact these individuals and assess how we can best help them, which may include an appointment with a provider and a retest in some circumstances. Anyone experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should seek care immediately.”
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