State cuts ties with Quest Diagnostics, says labs didn’t report 75,000 COVID-19 test results

Writer: Derrick Shaw
Published: Updated:

The State of Florida said Tuesday it’s cutting ties with Quest Diagnostics over the company’s failure to upload 75,000 COVID-19 test results dating back to April.

The state said Quest didn’t report findings in a timely manner and didn’t follow state law.

Quest said that everyone who tested positive has been notified.

“The law requires all COVID-19 results to be reported to DOH in a timely manner. To drop this much unusable and stale data is irresponsible,” said Gov. Ron DeSantis. “I believe that Quest has abdicated their ability to perform a testing function in Florida that the people can be confident in. As such I am directing all executive agencies to sever their COVID-19 testing relationships with Quest effective immediately.”

Without the backlog of Quest results, the positivity rate for new cases on Aug. 31, 2020, is 5.9%, the state said.

Those backlogged case numbers will be included in Tuesday’s report from the Department of Health.

Quest Diagnostics’ full statement:

“Quest Diagnostics takes seriously our responsibility to report laboratory data to public health authorities in a timely manner to aid pandemic response. Due to a technical issue, our reporting of a subset of public health COVID-19 test data to the Florida Department of Health was delayed. This subset involves nearly 75,000 of the approximately 1.4 million COVID-19 tests we had performed and reported to the state.

“We apologize for this matter and regret the challenge it poses for public health authorities in Florida. The issue has since been resolved. Importantly, the issue did not affect or delay reporting of test results to providers and patients.

“Quest Diagnostics has provided more COVID-19 testing on behalf of the citizens of Florida than any other laboratory and we believe we are well positioned to continue to effectively aid patient care and public health response for the state. We remain open to working with the state Department of Health to provide testing that meets the needs required for patient care and public health response.”

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