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UK Healthcare discovers dozens of false-positive COVID-19 tests

UK Healthcare
UK Healthcare(WKYT)
Published: Jul. 23, 2020 at 8:44 AM EDT|Updated: Jul. 23, 2020 at 6:40 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - UK Healthcare says it has identified more than two dozen COVID-19 tests that were actually a false positive.

A news release from the hospital says the issue was with a software flaw.

The discovery was made on July 16 as UK lab scientists were reviewing raw data from Thermo Fisher, one of its four testing partners.

UK employees were concerned about "discrepancies between the raw data and the software interpretation that might result in false positives," according to the release.

Since the discovery, all of the positive COVID-19 samples tested with Thermo Fisher have been retested. No negative test results changed, but 26 positive tests were confirmed to actually be negative.

The hospital said everyone who received a false-positive result is being notified.

The Thermo Fisher testing platform has only been used by UK since June 27.

“UK’s clinical laboratory has performed more than 30,000 COVID-19 tests since March and only a very small percentage of tests have been affected by this software defect,” said UK Executive Vice President for Health Affairs Dr. Mark Newman.

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