BOCA RATON, Fla. — More than one month after it was first exposed that some Florida labs were only reporting positive COVID-19 test results to the state, the CBS12 News I-Team found dozens are still doing so.
For example, Lab24, which has a location in Boca Raton, has reported 558 positive COVID-19 test results and 0 negatives to the DOH, according to the state's latest records.
According to data scientists at FAU running a COVID-19 Tracker, 150 labs reported a 100 percent positivity rate to the state on Tuesday.
Submitting only positive test results drives up county and state positivity rates -- key metrics for government officials deciding when and how to re-open businesses and schools.
It's not clear how big of an impact these labs are having on the overall positivity rate, because it is not known how many negative test results could be going unreported.
A spokesperson for Lab24 puts the blame squarely on the state.
A lab manager who identified herself as "Maria" told the I-Team the state initially only asked for positive results.
When media outlets like CBS12 News reported last month that many labs were failing to report negative results, skewing the positivity rate higher, Lab24 says they worked to fix their reporting process and gave the state information about negative test results.
The lab claims the DOH has failed to update its records to show those negative tests.
They declined to reveal to CBS12 News how many negative tests they claim they reported.
On Wednesday, the state DOH daily COVID report shows Lab24 added 14 new positive COVID-19 tests to the state total and 0 negatives.
We asked the Palm Beach County and State Department of Health to explain if there is any oversight over these labs, and if their latest COVID-19 report is accurate.
We have not yet heard back.
For some, it's another reason to keep questioning the data.
"The fact that this has gone on more than a month, how do they expect people to trust them?" said Jean-Marie Nacer, a registered nurse with experience reporting data to the government.
"One mistake is bad enough, but to let it go on and not correct it when it's pointed out is an even bigger issue," she said.