Coronavirus | Featured Stories

UPDATED: FL Health Care Company Says 35,000 COVID-19 Tests are “Unreliable”

A faith-based health care provider announced Saturday that results from more than 35,000 COVID-19 tests that were performed by a third-party lab are unreliable.

The majority of the questionable tests were conducted here in Florida.

AdventHealth says the situation has created “unacceptable delays.” The company did not name the third-party lab in a statement.

However, it explained that the tests were a mixture of positive and negative results. Additionally, some tests have not yet been returned.

“While we work successfully with many other labs across multiple states to provide COVID-19 tests for our communities, we have terminated our contract with this particular lab and share in the disappointment and frustration this situation has created. We are deeply sorry for the inconvenience and uncertainty it has caused,” Terry Shaw, president/CEO of AdventHealth, wrote in the statement.

The company is notifying affected patients with a letter and a phone call.

AdventHealth spokeswoman Melanie Lawhorn says the company has 49 hospitals in nine states. Two the states are joint venture systems and were not affected by the unreliable testing problem.

Over 630,000 people in Florida have been tested for coronavirus as of Saturday afternoon.

According to the Florida Department of Health, there are more than 45,588 confirmed cases in the state, and at least 1,973 deaths as of Sunday morning.

On Monday, the state is increasing restaurant and retail store capacity from 25 to 50 percent, and is allowing the reopening of museums, libraries and gyms at 50 percent capacity. Bars and movie theaters will remain closed. Additionally, Miami-Dade and Broward counties will join phase one of the reopening process Monday.

Those two South Florida counties, along with Palm Beach County, have been the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, with about 58 percent of the state’s cases.