Quest Diagnostic Failed to Timely Report Florida’s Coronavirus Cases

Florida coronavirus positivity rate increased to 6.8 percent
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The Florida Department of Health (DOH) and the Florida Division of Emergency Management announced they will be severing all ties with Quest Diagnostics after Quest’s failure to report all COVID-19 test results in a timely manner.

The Florida DOH press statement published on September 1, 2020, says ‘Quest’s failure to report nearly 75,000 results dating back to April means most of the data in today’s upload – while it will have historical significance – will have little impact on the status of the pandemic today.’

Without the backlog of Quest test results, the positivity rate for new cases in Florida on August 31, 2020, is 5.9%.

However, with the additional data from Quest, Florida’s rate increases to 6.8%.

Upon announcing this action, Governor DeSantis said in a press release, “The law requires all COVID-19 results to be reported to DOH in a timely manner. To drop this much unusable and stale data is irresponsible. I believe that Quest has abdicated their ability to perform a testing function in Florida that the people can be confident in.”

“As such, I am directing all executive agencies to sever their COVID-19 testing relationships with Quest effective immediately.”

Late on August 31, 2020, the Governor’s office was informed that nearly 75,000 tests, of the approximately 1.4 million COVID-19 tests Quest had performed and reported to the state, dating as far back as April, were to be entered into the DOH COVID-19 monitoring system.

While the data, for the most part, were over 2 weeks old – with some being almost 5 months old – the state incorporated information that would be useful and included the rest in the interest of transparency.

Per Quest, all individuals that tested positive for COVID-19 were notified of their results.

Therefore, while significant, this unacceptable dump of test results is a data issue and does not impact the health of individuals or the spread of COVID-19 in Florida.

‘We apologize for this matter and regret the challenge it poses for public health authorities in Florida. The issue has since been resolved.  Importantly, the issue did not affect or delay reporting of test results to providers and patients,’ stated a Quest statement published on September 1, 2020.

‘Quest Diagnostics has provided more COVID-19 testing on behalf of the citizens of Florida than any other laboratory and we believe we are well-positioned to continue to effectively aid patient care and public health response for the state. We remain open to working with the state Department of Health to provide testing that meets the needs required for patient care and public health response,’ concluded this Quest statement.

Quest Diagnostics is a large, nationwide lab that provides testing at private sites, as well as performing limited testing through the state.

On August 31, 2020, Quest announced it had reported results of approximately 13.2 million COVID-19 molecular diagnostic tests to patients and providers in the USA. And, has the capacity to provide 200,000 COVID-19 molecular diagnostic tests a day.

PrecisionVaccinations reports research-based coronavirus pandemic news.

http://www.floridahealth.gov/newsroom/2020/09/090120-1112-covid19.pr.html

https://newsroom.questdiagnostics.com/COVIDTestingUpdates