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State of Florida Sever Ties with Lab for Failing to Follow Florida Law.

Tue, Sep 01, 2020 at 3:05PM

Written by Kristen Schmutz

Belden Communications News

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The Florida Department of Health and the Florida Division of Emergency Management has severed ties with Quest Diagnostics after they failed to follow Florida law. Quest Diagnostics is a large, nationwide lab that provides testing at private sites, as well as performing limited testing through the state.

 

The testing company attempted to dump 75,000 COVID-19 test results, as far back as April. Following the direction of Governor DeSantis, the DOH and the FDEM, today will be severing all ties with Quest. 

 

Upon announcing this action, Governor DeSantis said, “The law requires all COVID-19 results to be reported to DOH promptly. 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.”

 

According to a release from the state, 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.

 

According to Quest, all individuals that tested positive were notified of their results. 

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. 

 

Monday night, the Governor’s office was informed that nearly 75,000 tests, 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 between two weeks to five months old, the state incorporated information that would be useful and included the rest in the interest of transparency.

 

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

 

 

Cases Reported August 31, 2020

Positivity Rate 

Without Quest

5.9%

With Quest

6.8%

 

Total New Cases

Without Quest

3,773

With Quest

7,643


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