Coronavirus CT News: Testing flaw leads to dozens of false positives

COVID-19 News and Information
CONNECTICUT (WABC) -- Connecticut's State Public Health Laboratory said that dozens of people, many nursing home residents, received false positive COVID-19 test results.

The public health lab uncovered a flaw in one of the COVID-19 testing systems.

The flaw, which has been reported to both the manufacturer and the federal Food and Drug Administration, led to 90 of 144 people tested during June 15-July 17, 2020 receiving a false positive COVID test report.

Many of the persons with false-positive test results are nursing home residents. Any nursing home resident with a false positive COVID-19 test result will be retested as soon as possible.

The Department of Public Health epidemiologists are reaching out to nursing homes again Monday to review all of the clinical issues for any impacted patients.

DPH has taken immediate steps to make sure the patients are notified.

"We have notified the healthcare facilities for everyone who received a false positive test result from our state laboratory," said Acting Commissioner Deidre S. Gifford, MD, MPH. "Accurate and timely testing for the novel coronavirus is one of the pillars supporting effective response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to the quick action of our team at the state lab, adjustments have already been made to ensure the accuracy of future test results from this platform."

The errant testing results were from a widely-used laboratory testing platform that the state laboratory started using on June 15.

The false positive test results were discovered by DPH laboratory scientists during an examination of previously positive samples to determine the feasibility of testing "pooled" specimens at the state lab.

The exact cause of the false positive results is still being investigated.

The overall COVID-19 case numbers for Connecticut will be adjusted downward as a result of these false positive tests, provided that re-testing still shows the impacted individuals to be negative.

RELATED: NY, NJ, CT add more states to quarantine

WATCH THE SERIES: EYEWITNESS TO A PANDEMIC (Episode 6 below)
EMBED More News Videos

Suddenly, the brutal death of George Floyd while in the custody of police officers in Minneapolis filled the streets of a nation with rage and sorrow. New York was no different. Protesters put the fear of the virus aside and took to the streets by the thousands. Abandoning the safety and comfort of social distance, to demand social change.



MORE CORONAVIRUS COVID-19 COVERAGE


abc7NY Phase Tracker:


COVID-19 Help, Information. Stimulus and Business Updates
UPDATES
New York City

New Jersey
Long Island
Westchester and Hudson Valley
Connecticut

7 On Your Side Investigates: Up to 4,000 coronavirus cases prevented by NYC contact tracers
EMBED More News Videos

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio along with local health experts have repeatedly called contact tracing a key element in preventing another spike of coronavirus in the city.



REOPENING INFORMATION

What's Open, What's Closed

Reopening New York State
Reopening New Jersey
Reopening Connecticut

Total count of NYC, Long Island COVID-19 cases based on patient address
Copyright © 2020 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.