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Conflicting COVID-19 test results received from state-run site in Fort Myers

Are they positive or negative? Two Southwest Florida women said they each took a COVID-19 test at a state-run testing site in Fort Myers, only to receive both a positive and a negative result.

They still don’t know whether they have the coronavirus or not.

Victoria Pearce said she and her friend, who wished to remain anonymous for this story, went separately to the CenturyLink Sports Complex test site on May 20 after learning they may have come into contact with a confirmed case.

“It took maybe 10 minutes. It wasn’t busy at all,” Pearce said.

They anxiously awaited their results, hoping to get some peace of mind. Instead, they ended up with more uncertainty.

After waiting several days for their results, they started calling the numbers on the packet they received at the testing site. They were directed to an online portal to find their results, both of which said positive.

“It’s a scary thing, it really is, and it kinda brings it home,” Pearce said.

“I didn’t sleep at all, just very upset,” her friend said. “Then it was like, oh, have I given it to my husband, grandchildren, anybody else?”

Then they started comparing their paperwork and noticed something wasn’t right.

“I started looking at my form and looking at her form and I said these are identical, absolutely identical. There was no name, no date of birth, no identifying information on it. It just said positive,” Pearce said.

So, they started making calls again, unsure if their results were actually theirs. Finally, they both received calls back and were sent results showing they tested negative.

“Ultimately I was told my test was negative,” Pearce said. “Both associations called me and said so what happened and both acknowledged that we better look into this.”

With both positive and negative results, they aren’t sure what to believe and how to make sure others aren’t facing the same uncertainty.

“I don’t know what to trust. One minute the test comes back positive and then it comes back negative. Do I trust the lab or do I trust the doctor’s website?” Pearce asked.

“This affects everybody’s lives so we gotta know. We gotta be 100 percent.”

A representative from the Florida Department of Emergency Management, which oversees the testing site, said this is the first they’ve heard of any issues like this. He said the portal launched last week and they’re making sure the issue is addressed. The portal is managed by Genetworx Lab and the Medical Associates Network.

Anyone who thinks they have a similar problem or issue with a test can call 850-583-2419 or email [email protected].

Reporter:Breana Ross
Writer:Jackie Winchester
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