TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida Department of Health confirmed Wednesday that some private laboratories were not reporting negative COVID-19 test results to them as required by the state, leading to 100% positivity rates being reported for those labs.
Florida Department of Health spokeswoman Olga Connor told Local 10 News in an email that public and private labs are required to report all COVID-19 test results to the state, regardless whether the tests are positive or negative.
“In recent days, the Florida Department of Health noticed that some smaller, private labs weren’t reporting negative test result data to the state,” Connor wrote. “The Department immediately began working with those labs to ensure that all results were being reported in order to provide comprehensive and transparent data.”
Connor said the Department of Health will continue to educate labs “on the proper protocol for reporting COVID-19 test results.”
The confirmation from health officials comes after the Orlando Sentinel reported that the issue created discrepancies in the statistics that officials have been using to track the pandemic throughout the state.
Health officials have not disclosed how many labs in the state reported incomplete data.
As of Wednesday, Florida surpassed 300,000 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began.
A total of 4,521 residents have died due to complications associated with the virus.
Health officials have confirmed more than 72,000 COVID-19 cases in Miami-Dade County, more than 34,000 in Broward County and 670 in Monroe County.