Some FAMU COVID-19 tests among those damaged in transit

By: WCTV Eyewitness News
May 21, 2020

TALLAHASSEE, Fla (WCTV) – Florida's Emergency Operations Center confirms 12 COVID-19 tests taken at FAMU’S Bragg Stadium testing site were damaged in transit.

Florida’s Division of Emergency Management said Wednesday night more than 1,700 tests administered at state-sponsored COVID-19 testing sites across the state were damaged.

Dr. Temple Robinson with the Bond Community Health Center helps to oversee FAMU's testing site. Robinson says they are now in the process of notifying the people whose tests were damaged and asking them to be re-tested.

“Any person whose sample was damaged will be contacted as soon as possible. These individuals will be prioritized for retesting at the site where they were originally tested,” the Division of Emergency Management statement said.

Dr. Robinson said the results of any re-tests would be expedited.

For those that have already taken the test however, most rather not do it again.

Leah Vargas did not have her results damaged but was tested for COVID-19 at Bragg Memorial Stadium and says the test can be very uncomfortable. She explains that the wait for the results can be the most challenging part.

“I also know if I was in that position, I know certain people are holding off on certain things waiting for their test results," said Vargas. "So it kinda sucks to have to wait another three to seven days.”

The Division of Emergency Management says more than 90,000 tests have been administered at state-supported drive-thru and walk-up testing states so far in May.

Florida's EOC says there are several ways tests can be damaged as they are shipped from testing sites to the labs that process them.

"Tests that have a loose lid may have some of the sample leak when transported, or a sample that is mishandled when being moved from location to lab could crack or break," the EOC said.

Tallahassee Memorial runs the drive-thru COVID-19 testing site at the Northwood Centre. A spokeswoman says they have not been notified that any of the tests taken there were among those damaged.

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