State Health Department Says 'A Number Of' Positive COVID-19 Tests From Weekend Increase Not Valid

Jul 29, 2020

A COVID-19 collection site at Mount Nittany Medical Center in State College, Pa.
Credit Min Xian / WPSU

Some of the positive COVID-19 test results the state Department of Health reported in Centre County Sunday are not valid, and patients whose results changed after retesting are being contacted, according to the department and Mount Nittany Health.

On Sunday, Centre County saw a 43-case jump, the largest single-day increase since the pandemic began. That brought Sunday's total to 356 confirmed and probable cases. 

But, on Wednesday, state Department of Health spokesman Nate Wardle said in an email that the department "has determined a number of the positive test results were not valid. We are reviewing those tests, retesting, and will change our data (as needed) to reflect the results of these tests in the near future."

Nirmal Joshi, chief medical officer at Mount Nittany Health, said they closely monitor the results they get from the multiple commercial labs they use to conduct COVID-19 tests.

"When we received an unusually high number of positive results on Friday, we immediately alerted the Department of Health and implemented a plan to quickly re-test these individuals over the weekend," Joshi said.

"On retesting, the Department of Health has determined that a number of the original test results are not valid," he said. "These tests are being reviewed and data will be updated by the Department of Health. Patients are being contacted with their updated test results. Based on the volume of test results we have received to date, this was clearly an unusual pattern that prompted further follow up and investigation and we appreciate the collaboration with the Department of Health.”

As of Wednesday, there are 370 confirmed and probable cases in Centre County and 110,218 statewide.