People getting positive test results when they never took a test: an issue in your area?

I will preface this by stating that my source is Facebook, so take it with a big nugget of salt like I did, at least at first. (Now, it’s just a grain.)

Someone posted that they had two friends, in my city no less, who signed up for testing but decided not to proceed when they saw how long the line was and how long they would have to wait, and received notice that they had positive results anyway. I repeated the story on my own FB page and an FBF replied, “Yes, my co-worker’s brother in Florida.”

Has anyone else heard about this? That’s just weird, and a potential massive violation of medical ethics.

More important, it’s a massive fuck up of matching results to those who were tested.
(If it’s true.)

No, I haven’t heard about that. “Friend of a friend”/“brother of a co-worker” has a whiff of urban legend.

They are claiming that they gave their personal details, but did not even get to the point of giving a sample?

An administrative screwup is possible, but given the amount of nonsense going around the most parsimonious explanation is probably that it’s an invention to “prove” that it’s all a liberal hoax.

Instead of just brushing it off as a likely urban legend, I decided to post it here because absolutely nothing about this surprises me any more.

Yeah, I’m calling shenanigans here. You have to register with ID to be tested, and before the test happens they make up labels based on your ID (and insurance, if applicable.) Then they come back to your car and ask you to verify the PI on the labels, which are then placed on the sample and paperwork.

I can’t imagine they do it differently in Florida than they do in Michigan, not as far as verifying ID. That’s like the first thing that happens, and there are so many redundancies to check PI, I’m just not buying it. Not more than a one-off due to some rare weirdness.

It’s also copied and pasted in every yahoo comments section that is even remotely Covid-19 related. I mean, that’s just confirmation right there… /s

Appears to be a real thing, at least in Florida:

“This is part of the testing mechanism problem. People are sitting in their cars, sometimes for hours, or standing in line, six feet apart sometimes for hours. You’re registered though, you’re number 15 in line, and you are Jay Wolfson. If Jay Wolfson says he can’t wait any longer and he leaves, it will get number 15 and now get Rebecca Fernandez, who was standing behind him, and she tests positive, and then everyone from then on gets the wrong results. There has to be a better way to do this,” explained Dr. Jay Wolfson, Public Health & Medicine Professor for the University of South Florida."

The number of positive tests might be right, but the individuals testing positive isn’t.

I’m left completely in shock if they truly are doing labels based on position not identity. I’m not saying I don’t believe it. So if Dr. Jay Wolfson is speaking the truth rather than just passing on something he heard, global warming and the submerging of Florida can’t come too soon (hyperbole, I just don’t know what else to say, I with them the best).

I’ve dealt with labs who hand copied IDs from one field to another, instead of copy pasting, just because it was “easier.” Then spent days fixing typos in IDs, and even retesting things because we didn’t know which result went with which sample. Can you tell the difference between 001A1 and 0OlA1? In the font I’m using, yes, but I’ve also seen ID systems that are alphanumeric where 001A1 and 0O1A1 are different subjects. The point being, even people who should know better can do things poorly.

In the meantime, another FBF whose husband is an ER physician said that they have a friend in California who processed a whole batch that all read positive. Something’s definitely wrong, unless everyone really did have it which is IMNSHO unlikely.

They decided to process a few unopened tests, and guess what? Positive. Bad reagents? Who knows, yet.

I’m seeing this elsewhere in the meantime, and it’s giving ammunition to the hoaxers.

That is mostly the norm around here. Mostly testing sites are using online signup as their dominant method. You typically fill out a screening questionnaire and give all other info before ever going to a testing site. They, understandably, are trying to limit the amount of contact time at the testing site. You just show up, show ID, get tested, and move out.

Of course this is not FL and nobody is claiming issues like this in NW Ohio.

All I can say is that a person I know, who leans pretty hard into the Plandemic ecosystem of bullshit, started citing personal examples of this to me this weekend. I find it dubious, but they were emphatic that “my cousin” or some other not-super-close friend or relative got flagged as positive even though they never got tested.

I have to say it reeks of bullshit, and the recent influx of right-wing media talking points on this are no doubt triggering a slew of personal anecdotes on social media.

BUT, these tests are anything but perfect and many manufacturers seem to have a really high false positive or false negative rate, so I’m sure the published numbers are directionally correct at best. Even if there are false positives/negatives and even if there are examples of fraud or bad accounting this isn’t some smoking gun that the entire pandemic is some overblown or outright manufactured problem which is what these people are asserting.

I’ve seen almost word for word the premise in my local news and on the Big news sites.

I have not seen anyone claiming it as happening to themselves nor any of the friends/family never named showing up in the comments saying it was so.

When I got tested, there was indeed a long line. However, they didn’t check my ID until I was second or third from the front. Then, they wrote my name and initial on my window so that the nurse with the swabs could make sure it was me. I’m not saying there couldn’t be errors, but it’s not something that’s going to be systemic.

I’m in NJ, though. We have been generally better about this pandemic than Florida. I still find it unlikely that they would check IDs so far back in the line. So, I’m skeptical until someone says it happened to them, not to their cousin’s friend, or boss’s gardener’s friend, or whatever.

In any case, other than crappy testing, which is possible, the scenario in the OP would not affect the count, just the people who test positive.

I have no idea if this is what’s going on, but when my mother received her results, it came with a cover letter that had some misleading verbiage like “IF YOU ARE POSITIVE YOU SHOULD DO BLAH BLAH”. She was convinced it was a positive result until she read the entire thing carefully.

I would wonder if some of these incidents are from misinterpretation of form letters that go out to everyone who signs up for the test.

My wife’s been tested here in FL several times. This was done at the local hospital as part of their COVID precautions pre-treatment, not a mass-testing site. So the procedure we’ve had may not be representative. But even so, these procedures are definitely ad hoc stuff they invented just a couple months ago. And it is a drive-up & stay in the car process.

We’re pre-registered for the test by the hospital scheduling department. When we show up they have a small sheet of pre-printed barcodes with her name, birthday, etc. on them. Same as when anyone gets any other treatment at that hospital. The sample takers shows her the sheet, asks her to confirm her name & birthday are correct, then sticks one of the stickers onto the sample tube. Then the swab goes up the nose, into the tube, and the cap is installed. Kinda hard to screw that part up.

I suppose a testee who couldn’t read, couldn’t speak much English, or just had a really sloppy mind could just glance at the papers, say “yeah, yeah”, and end up with somebody else’s sticker on their sample. But that’s what it would take. And that goof would probably be discovered when the person whose sticker it really was showed up and the staff said “Wait a minute, we already have your sample. Oops!”

Regardless of the quality or lack of the part I just described, what happens later is anyone’s guess. The samples need to be logged, tested, and the results sent out somehow. All those admin processes can have glitches too.

I imagine the protocol is pretty well worked out, but it would be astonishing if tens of millions of tests were done with 0 administrative failures.

I’m in Florida, and I went to a state-run drive-thru testing site. At least the way they did it there, I think the scenario described would be impossible. At the first stop I was asked for ID, they filled out some forms, put them in a zip loc bag and put that under my windshield wiper like a parking ticket. At the second stop, the nurse asked me if my name was (my name), while also showing me the vial for the swab, which had my name written on it. She immediately swabbed me and put the swab in the vial with my name.

So at least at my testing station, the notion that one person leaving would bump everyone’s results off by one spot seems impossible.

When my second child was born I expressed concern that I’d lost a lot if blood, and the doctor assured me my blood test had shown that my red count was okay. Only I never had a blood test. They said, “oh, you just forgot”. But I’m terrified of needles, and there’s no way I forget. I asked if they could have tested when they removed the IV, and she said no, they would have had to stick a new needle in me.

The birth happened extremely fast. They didn’t give me any drugs that might interfere with memory. They never tested me post partum. They must have attributed someone else’s blood test to me.

This was a routine delivery, other than being an unexpected breach. The hospital wasn’t overcrowded. There was no pandemic.

So… Did someone somewhere get the wrong results? Yes, the system is imperfect. There are mistakes. Is it a systemic problem leading to a vast overcounting of cases? That seems extremely unlikely.

Yes, this is the new thing, everyone (who already thinks COVID is a hoax) seems to “know personally” 1 or 2 people with this EXACT story – they went to a drive-in test site, left because the line was too long, and then got a call saying they tested positive. The article Trom posted is the first instance of this where someone actually claims it happened to them and not “someone who never lies about this sort of thing.”

If this isn’t setting off your “urban legend” alarms, it should be.