Private Labs Not Required To Report Negative COVID-19 Tests

On September 4,  the Madison County Health Department committee met, and several board members directed questions about testing results and processes to Toni Corona, Director of the Health Department.
Corona reported that based on positive test numbers in Madison County, we remain in the “orange” zone for the 3rd week in a row based on factors laid out by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). Orange indicates there are warning signs of increased COVID-19 risk in the county.
During a series of questions about how tests are counted, Corona told the committee that there might be some private labs not directly connected with the Illinois Department of Public Health which send positives on to IDPH, but are not required by the state to send negative results. This includes employers who mandate employees be tested on a regular basis such the same day of each week.
“It doesn’t take a math genius to figure out if positive, but not negative tests are being reported, the positivity rate is completely inaccurate. This is cause for serious alarm,” shared Erica Conway Harriss R- Glen Carbon.
Corona stated she would like to contact the IDPH and get some clarification on this and communicated that it is not likely happening as much as one might think it is. As of this writing, clarification has not yet been received by the committee members or this reporter.
Corona is also looking into reports that people who live with someone that test positive being told that they are being counted as positive. Those answers are also pending.
“We need to immediately determine the validity of these numbers used to determine our positivity rate,” Health Committee Chairman Ray Wesley stated. “If not all tests are being used in the calculation, our community is being shut down with incomplete data.”

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