Wednesday’s COVID-19 Increase Comes from ‘Stale Data Dump’ says DeSantis

August 13, 2020

By: Staff Report

TAMPA, Fla. – Wednesday, the Florida Department of Health (DOH) received a backlog of testing data from Niznik Lab Corp in Miami, dating back to June 23rd. The lab reported over 4,000 cases occurring over the past 7 weeks, but which had not been reported to DOH until today.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis During an Address to Floridians

The Florida Department of Health said, “This backlog severely skews the daily report for Miami-Dade & is not reflective of current trends. Once DOH was informed of this testing data backlog, we immediately reached out to Niznik Lab & we are investigating the matter, along with Miami-Dade leadership.”

The percentage of all tests coming back positive had soared to 16.5%, the highest rate in nearly three weeks, and Miami-Dade County saw a record high one-day new-case increase of 4,104, boosting its new case positivity rate to 18.3%, the highest in weeks.

Ohio’s Gov. Mike DeWine’s coronavirus testing experience,  in which he came back positive for COVID-19 in one test then negative in a second test just hours later – has caused a lot of questions surrounding the reliability and accuracy of testing. 

Labs were suddenly reporting so many positive tests, and one stood out: Niznik Lab Corp (NLC) of Miami Gardens, which had never before appeared in the data.

During a video address to Floridians, Governor DeSantis made this statement, “For the past few weeks, Florida has seen sustained declines in new cases, visits to the ER for COVID-like illness, and the number of COVID+ patients who are currently hospitalized.  We are not yet where we need to be, but we are encouraged by the trends.

Yet, today we all of a sudden saw a massive increase in new cases in Miami-Dade county, which had seen steady improvement for the last two weeks.  Was this a sudden surge in new infections?  No.

As it turns out, it was a data dump from a new private lab that included results from as far back as June.  The data was stale.  It was not indicative of current trends, much less a “record” day of fresh infections in Miami. Stale test results shouldn’t be used by policy makers to determine the way forward for students, parents, workers, and businesses in the here and now.

I have instructed the DOH to remedy this.  The point of collecting data should be to illuminate, not obscure, the facts on the ground.

As we move forward, we will continue to do so with confidence in ourselves, elevating facts over fear, and striving to protect the health of our seniors and the future of our children.”

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