119 COVID-19 tests taken at Fort Myers site were damaged, officials say

Writer: Derrick Shaw
Published: Updated:

The state of Florida said Wednesday that 1,702 COVID-19 tests administered at state-run sites were “damaged in transit” and will have to be retaken.

The CenturyLink Sports Complex site was notified there were 119 tests identified as being damaged in transit, according to Lee County officials. State officials said 31 tests from the walk-up site in Immokalee were damaged.

Those whose tests were damaged will be notified for retesting as soon as possible and will be given priority at both sites. A priority lane has been set up at the CenturyLink site to give those affected a fast track. Once checked in at the gate and confirmed to be on the retesting list, patients will make their way through the expedited process. Their test kits will be marked “priority” and overnighted to the commercial lab.

“The Florida Division of Emergency Management was made aware that of the more than 90,000 tests administered at drive-thru and walk-up test sites so far in May, 1,702 were damaged in transit, and these individuals will need to be retested,” a press release from the state said Wednesday.

The state said that tests can be damaged multiple ways while in transit. “For example, tests that have a loose lid may have some of the sample leak when transported, or a sample that is mishandled when being moved from location to lab could crack or break.”

WINK News has received a lot of messages from people who were tested and have yet to receive their results after visiting the state-run site at CenturyLink Sports Complex in Fort Myers.

The state has not said which sites the damaged tests came from, but Marge Lennon said she got tested 13 days ago at the Fort Myers site and still hasn’t seen any results.

“Since it’s been 13 days, way past the time … where are the results? Naturally, I’m concerned,” she said. “My cousin who went the day before me, she got a return call, so that meant that they got hers. Clearly they didn’t get mine. Mine’s among those 1,700.”

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