AdventHealth says more than 8,000 Bay Area COVID-19 results are unreliable, terminates lab contract

The results of more than 35,000 COVID-19 tests ordered by Florida-based health care system and performed by a third-party lab are unreliable, with the majority of the questionable tests having been conducted in Florida, the company said Saturday.

According to AdventHealth more than 8,000 of those tests were conducted in West Central Florida and 25,000 were conducted in Central Florida. AdventHealth spokeswoman Melanie Lawhorn said the company has 49 hospitals in nine states, but two of those states are joint venture systems and were not affected by the unreliable testing situation.

In a statement, AdventHealth said it terminated the contract with the lab and is working to notify and appropriately accommodate those who are impacted.

The organization said the individuals fall into two categories:

1.Those whose samples were processed, and whose results provided by the lab are not deemed reliable.  
- Individuals who had unreliable positive results will require retesting.
- Individuals with unreliable negative results who are symptomatic need to seek care and may require retesting.    
-Individuals with unreliable negative results who are asymptomatic but request to be retested will be offered testing pending availability.    

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2. Those whose samples are at the lab in question and are part of the backlog will not be tested; therefore, no result will be available.  
-These patients may require retesting if they are symptomatic.  
-AdventHealth directed the lab to destroy these samples under the law.   

“It has been a privilege to serve our community during these unprecedented times, and we remain committed to our promise to keep you safe and provide the best care possible,” said Mike Schultz, President and CEO of AdventHealth West Florida Division. “We are taking ownership of these issues and are reaching out to the thousands of those who were impacted to help make it easy for them to understand the next step in their care.” 

If you feel sick:

The Florida Department of Health has opened a COVID-19 Call Center at 1-866-779-6121. Agents will answer questions around the clock. Questions may also be emailed to Email responses will be sent during call center hours.

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