But an investigation into Florida’s testing found that there are significant errors in positivity rates, which means the numbers being reported are likely much higher than they’re supposed to be.
Fox 35 News investigated the Florida Department of Health’s data and found that several state labs have been reporting a 100% positivity rate in testing, meaning, every single person tested for COVID-19 tested positive.
Many other labs logged 80%+ positivity rates. But according to local hospitals, these high positivity rates are wrong.
One hospital, Orlando Health, disputed the Florida Department of Health’s report and said that its positivity rate was 9.4%. The department had put it as 98% in its report.
Another hospital, Orlando Veteran’s Medical Center, similarly said that its positivity rate was 6%, but the department listed it as 76%.
Dr. Jon Ward, a physician in Bay County, Florida, began asking questions about the department’s high positivity rates last week.
“We’ve got what’s called a denominator problem—the denominator is the number of negative cases or negative tests or total tests, and the numerator is positive tests,” he told local news outlet WJHG-7.
“I looked at it, and it [PanCare] showed 280 positives and zero negatives, and that just came up really fishy because I knew a lot of people who had gone to PanCare and tested negative.”
DeSantis has continued to defend his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, reassuring Floridians last month that he would not be reintroducing restrictions, despite the new spike in case numbers.
“We’re not going back, closing things. I don’t think that that’s really what’s driving it, people going to a business is not what’s driving it,” DeSantis said.
“I think when you see the younger folks, I think a lot of it is more just social interactions, so that’s natural,” he continued. “We’re open; we know who we need to protect—most of the folks in those younger demographics, although we want them to be mindful of what’s going on, are just simply much much less at risk than the folks who are in those older age groups.”
Despite the questions about the accuracy in reporting of Florida’s numbers, the Republican National Committee announced this week that it planned to restrict the numbers for those attending the RNC nominating convention in mid-August.
Although the convention initially was due to be held in Charlotte, North Carolina, President Donald Trump pressed organizers to relocate it to Jacksonville, Florida, due to the refusal by North Carolina’s Democrat Gov. Roy Cooper to guarantee no restrictions would be in effect.