How common are incorrect COVID-19 test results?

Published: Sep. 16, 2020 at 11:45 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - When hospitals and labs participate in mass coronavirus testing events, technicians see hundreds of tests come through.

But with so much testing, how do companies avoid mix-ups or mistakes?

According to health leaders, it’s not very common for COVID-19 tests to get mixed up.

Health directors and hospital employees said they do everything they can to verify a test and ensure the correct result goes to the right person.

At mass testing events, people from around the area show up for a quick and easy way to get tested.

Pitt County Health Director, Dr. John Silvernail, said if samples are labeled and appropriately collected, it’s a rare occurrence that something goes wrong.

Dr. Silvernail said there was one instance where there was a data glitch, and it showed about 40 positive cases that were not actually positive, but other than the occasional glitch, instances are rare.

Dr. LeeAnne Sorto DNP, RNP at Washington Regional Medical Center said mass testing events are a quick way to test a lot of people, and basic protocols are still followed.

She said there is a patient identifier, then you confirm your date of birth.

A simple process that health leaders and residents hope deliver accurate results with every test.

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