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Florida COVID Numbers See Jump After State Severs Ties With Quest Labs Over Testing

Florida Department of Health coronavirus dashboard
FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
The Florida Department of Health reported 7,569 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday, but about half of them were older results turned in by Quest Diagnostics Monday.

Another 7,569 new coronavirus cases were reported in Florida Tuesday. But more than half of them were among 75,000 older test results that a leading company turned in on Monday.

Tuesday, the Florida Department of Health announced it was severing all ties with Quest Diagnostics due to its failure to follow Florida law in reporting the results of coronavirus tests in a timely manner.

In an email, the DOH said “Quest’s failure to report nearly 75,000 results dating back to April means most of the data in (Tuesday's) upload – while it will have historical significance – will have little impact on the status of the pandemic today.”

According to the report from the Florida Department of Health, another 7,569 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in the state in the 24-hour period since Monday’s report, bringing the statewide total to 631,040.

However, about half of those cases, 3,870, came from Quest. According to the state, those tests were anywhere between two weeks to five months old.

Graph of test results
Schreiner, Mark
Quest Diagnostics returned more than 75,000 COVID-19 tests - including 3,870 positive results - to the state Monday. According to this Florida Department of Health graph, some tests were conducted as early as April 22.

In the greater Tampa Bay region, there were 825 new positive tests.

Of the 127,993 tests returned to the state Monday, 6.81% of those tested for the first time were positive. However, without the Quest test results, the positivity rate was 5.89%.

Tuesday’s DOH report also recorded the deaths of 190 people due to complications from COVID-19 since the day before.

Statewide, 11,521 people have died due to complications from COVID-19. Thirteen of the deaths occurred in the greater Tampa Bay area.

The deaths were recorded by the state since Monday's report, but they may have occurred days or weeks earlier.

ABOUT THE DATA: The Florida Department of Health produces a daily update around 11 a.m. with information about COVID-19 cases and deaths that were reported over the previous 24 hours. Cases and deaths in the report may have happened days or weeks earlier, according to state officials. The state separately tracks cases and deaths that occurred on specific days on its dashboard and those totals are frequently updated.

Greater Tampa Bay region positive tests as of Tuesday, September 1:

  • Hillsborough: 37,458
  • Pinellas: 20,026
  • Polk: 17,159
  • Manatee: 10,490
  • Pasco: 8,135
  • Sarasota: 7,239
  • Hernando: 2,685

Florida COVID-19 daily total of positive tests/deaths for the last two weeks:

  • September 1: 7,569 / 190
  • August 31: 1,885 / 68
  • August 30: 2,583 / 14
  • August 29: 3,197 / 150
  • August 28: 3,815 / 88
  • August 27: 3,269 / 139
  • August 26: 3,220 / 155
  • August 25: 2,673 / 183
  • August 24: 2,258 / 72
  • August 23: 2,974 / 51
  • August 22: 4,311 / 107
  • August 21: 4,684 / 118
  • August 20: 4,555 / 117
  • August 19: 4,115 / 174
  • August 18: 3,838 / 219