A Florida-based health care system says the results of more than 35,000 coronavirus tests are ‘unreliable’.
According to AdventHealth, it was concerned with one of of its third-party labs, MicroGen DX, which had been processing the tests.
The group says scores of patients likely received false positive or negative results. Meanwhile, thousands went at least two weeks without getting results back.
Due the lab being able to fulfill its obligations and ‘unacceptable delays’, AdventHealth has terminated its contract with the lab.
The company says it will notify the patients who are impacted with a letter and a phone call – but many Floridians say no one has reached out to them yet.
AdventHealth says the results of 35,000 coronavirus tests administered in Florida are ‘unreliable’. Pictured: Cars arrive at a drive-thru coronavirus testing site at a parking lot in Tampa, April 22
Some patients received false positive or negative results, while others never got their results back. Pictured: Healthcare workers talk with a patient before collecting a sample at a parking lot in Tampa, April 22
The third-party laboratory that was processing the results says the fault is the federal government’s for taking supplies and redirecting them to other labs. Pictured: Healthcare workers tend to a patient at the AdventHealth COVID-19 testing site in Daytona Beach, April 10
‘While we work successfully with many other labs across multiple states to provide COVID-19 tests for our communities, we have terminated our contract with this particular lab and share in the disappointment and frustration this situation has created,’ Terry Shaw, president and CEO of AdventHealth, wrote in a statement.
‘We are deeply sorry for the inconvenience and uncertainty it has caused.’
One of the Floridians who never got her coronavirus tests results back is Tanya Rezack, from Orlando.
She told DailyMail.com she had been experiencing upper respiratory symptoms for a few weeks and decided to get tested to rule out the virus.
Rezack signed up for a test and she was directed to a drive-thru clinic on May 5, and was ‘in and out’ very quickly.
Five days later, there were no results AdventHealth’s app and she hadn’t gotten a phone call
WHAT ADVENTHEALTH IS SAYING TO DO IF YOU ARE ONE OF THE 35,000 PEOPLE AFFECTED
- If you received a positive COVID-19 result, you need to be retested
- If you received a negative COVID-19 result, but have symptoms, you need to seek care and may need to be retested
- If you received a negative COVID-19 result and have no symptoms, you may ask to be retested pending availability
- If you were tested but haven’t received results yet, they will not be processed. AdventHealth has asked that all unprocessed samples be destroyed
‘I called their COVID hotline and they said lab backlog and I would have to wait an additional week,’ Rezack, 47, said.
‘After the week, I called the COVID hotline again. They said the lab was backlogged and would expedite delivery of my results and said they would call me within 48 hours.’
After 48 hours went by with no phone call, Rezack took to Twitter to express her frustration. That’s when she learned she wouldn’t be getting her results back.
‘We’ve been made aware the third-party lab we contracted with is unable to process COVID-19 tests,’ the lab wrote back on Twitter.
Rezack was shocked.
‘Responding to this on Twitter, I felt, was very unprofessional,’ she said. ‘They had broken my trust in their organization’
Rick Martin, CEO of MicroGen DX, whose lab is based in Texas, said the issue with not processing results quickly results was the fault of the federal government.
“The government basically has taken control of inventories of lab supplies,” Martin told WFTV.
‘We had ordered extraction machines and a disposable device that’s used on the extraction machines. We had ordered them months ago and all our orders were taken from us and redirected to other labs.’
Martin says he stands by his lab and the test results that did come back, but AdventHealth has since terminated its contact with the lab.
‘I didn’t learn anything except it’s a sad mess in a time we need results quickly to be healthy as a community,’ Rezack said.
‘They need to understand lives are at stake…All along the line I’ve seen failure.’
She has since gotten a second coronavirus test from OrlandoHealth, with results expected to return in 24 to 48 hours.
As of Monday morning 658,000 people in Florida – three percent of the population – have been tested for the virus, according to the state’s health department.
So far, 45,208 people have tested positive and 1,997 people have died.
It comes as Florida prepares for a ‘Phase One’ reopening including increasing restrictions on restaurants and retail store capacity from 25 percent to 50 percent.
Museums, libraries and gums will also be allowed to operate at 50 percent capacity, but bars and movie theaters will remain closed.