The Florida State Health Department reported on Tuesday that a number of labs have not accurately recorded the number of negative COVID-19 test results, and have instead been inflating the positivity rates, according to the Daily Wire.
FOX 35 reported that "countless labs have reported a 100 percent positivity rate, which means every single person tested was positive. Other labs had very high positivity rates."
The news station "found that testing sites like one local Centra Care reported that 83 people were tested and all tested positive. Then, NCF Diagnostics in Alachua reported 88 percent of tests were positive."
An investigation into the accuracy of these reports found that two labs did not sufficiently report the number of negative results that came through, skewing the positive results by a factor 10.
The Florida Department of Health found that "although private and public laboratories are required to report positive and negative results to the state immediately, some have not."
"Specifically, they said that some smaller, private labs were not reporting negative test result data to the state."
A spokesperson for the Florida Department of Health communicated that the agency is currently working on "proper protocol" with the labs to ensure that accurate data is reported moving forward.
"The Department immediately began working with those labs to ensure that all results were being reported in order to provide comprehensive and transparent data," the spokesperson noted.
"As the state continues to receive results from various labs, the Department will continue educating these labs on proper protocol for reporting COVID-19 test results."
Florida has come under fire recently for its surge in coronavirus cases, with the state registering 12,000 positive tests on Monday.
Dr. Raul Pino of the Florida Department of Health-Orange County suggested that the recent rise in positive tests could be due to "backlogged test results being added to the state's data," as well as labs entering data electronically and "daily tests inside the so-called 'Disney Bubble' for the NBA and MLS."
The Florida Health Department, as of Tuesday, reported that the state had 4,400 deaths out of its total population of 21.4 million, and has administered over 2.7 million tests. New York, with a total population of 19.5 million has had more than 32,000 COVID-19-related deaths, and has administered nearly 4.5 million tests.