Small labs' reporting method skews Florida COVID-19 positivity rate

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Small and private COVID-19 testing labs in Florida have been just reporting positive test results to the state, which has skewed the data to increase the positivity rate, according to a report from CBS 12 News.

The Florida Department of Health releases the rate of COVID-19 positive tests each day, but without the number of negative tests, or overall testing number, the department is unable to report an accurate percentage of positive tests. Local news sources reported on the issue early last week, but CBS 12 News reported 98 labs that included 355 positive tests that were only reporting the positive test results.

"We are basing decisions off of the positivity rate, and we need to know why some labs are reporting 100 percent positive tests," said Jon Taylor, a PhD student at Florida Atlantic University who has been working on a COVID-19 tracker set to launch this week.

The Florida health department has also been reporting daily death counts that include deaths that occurred outside of the most recent 24-hour period, leading to confusion.

More articles on data analytics:
The predictive analytics tools hospitals are using to forecast COVID-19 case surges
Data backlog delays San Antonio's reporting of 5,000 COVID-19 cases
Federal COVID-19 data-reporting change leaves states scrambling to adjust


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