“An error by the Florida Department of Health produced a COVID-19 positivity rate for children of nearly one-third, a stunning figure that played into the debate over whether schools should reopen.
A week after issuing that statistic, the department took it back without explanation. The next weekly report on children and COVID-19 showed the rate had plunged to 13.4%.
The department blamed a “computer programming error” for the mistake, in response to questions from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Experts said the change and the failure to explain it to the public calls into question the state’s data at a time when accurate and trustworthy information is crucial to a society grappling with an unprecedented health crisis.
“It’s unacceptable to publish information that changes so dramatically that it warrants explanation, and then to not provide any explanation,” said Jason Salemi, associate professor of epidemiology at the University of South Florida College of Public Health in Tampa. “I’m trying to get an understanding of why the number changed so much, what underlies it — and can we trust this new number.”
The unexplained revision of the child positivity rate follows months of complaints and legal fights over what many see as a lack of transparency in the COVID-19 information provided by the administration of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.”
Tens of thousands of cv19 test results in Florida are questioned
“Federal regulators are investigating a Texas laboratory that a Florida hospital chain dropped last week because of delayed and unreliable COVID-19 test results.
AdventHealth, which has 45 hospitals in nine states, terminated its Florida contract with MicroGen DX due to concerns about the validity of some of the 60,000 tests MicroGen had processed for the system because the lab left them at room temperature for days, according to an AdventHealth statement. The specimens should be refrigerated at 2 to 7 degrees Celsius (about 32 degrees Fahrenheit) and then put in freezers at -70 degrees Celsius after three days, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
MicroGen promotes shipping COVID-19 sputum (mucus) samples through FedExon its website.”