Florida's health department is 'severing all ties' with Quest Diagnostics after officials discovered the testing giant has failed to report the results of nearly 75,000 coronavirus tests since April.
Among the 75,000 old test results were 3,870 positives, but most of these were over two weeks old.
Quest did report the results to providers and patients, so those who tested positive knew their status, although the state did not, according to a statement issued by the company.
'The law requires all COVID-19 results to be reported to DOH in a timely manner,' said Governor Rick DeSantis in a Tuesday statement.
'To drop this much unusable and stale data is irresponsible.'
Quest's data dump resulted in an additional 7,643 new cases added to Florida's tally on Tuesday, though only 3,773 of those were truly new, according to the health department.
Florida saw a huge spike of 7,643 coronavirus cases on Monday after Quest Diagnostics 'dumped' the results of nearly 75,000 tests dating as far back as April. Of thee added cases, only 3,773 were new and 3,870 were from the Quest data
If the out-of-date Quest tests were counted, Florida's positivity rate would now be 6.8 percent.
Without the Quest data, the positivity rate - while still fairly high - is a more modest 5.9 percent.
The 75,000 tests for which Quest belatedly returned results on Monday night were predominantly about two weeks old, although some were from samples taken nearly five months ago.
Governor Rick DeSantis said Tuesday the state is 'severing all ties' with Quest after the data dump
'Quest’s failure to report nearly 75,000 results dating back to April means most of the data in today’s upload – while it will have historical significance – will have little impact on the status of the pandemic today,' wrote the Florida Department of Health in its Tuesday statement.
In total, 631,040 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Florida now, including the 3,870 whose test results were finally reported by Quest last night.
As of Tuesday, 11,518 people diagnosed in Florida have died.
Cases surged in the Southern state in June