Like so many South Florida families, Peter McCarthy, his wife and one of their children tested positive for COVID-19 right after Christmas.
“I actually didn’t get too affected by COVID,” he said. “My wife had it a little worse.”
Still, Peter said he started testing regularly at the Sunny Isles Government Center site, which was most convenient for him, as he tried to figure out when he was no longer positive.
“I personally got tested about six times in that time frame,” he said.
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He said he pre-registered to get tested on Jan. 2, made the line and provided a sample.
“Everything was the same as it had been,” he said.
But when he received two separate results the following day – one negative and one positive – he was surprised.
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“If I didn’t know that I was positive, that would have been a frightening situation for sure,” he said.
According to the test reports he provided, the samples were taken four minutes apart and were processed at two different labs – one in Miami, the other in Greenville, South Carolina. Both tests were registered under Peter’s name, address and date of birth.
“I have no idea how that’s possible,” he said.
NBC 6 Responds reached out to the testing company, Nomi Health, to ask what happened. They said, in part, their “…records indicate that this patient was in fact registered twice and swabbed, and PCR tested twice, on the same day.”
They went on to explain, “…once an individual pre-registers online and fills in their information, they arrive at the site and check in at a registration desk. There, the person is provided with a testing kit which includes a QR code that is then scanned, matching personal information to a testing kit. This scanned kit is then handed to a nurse who collects the specimen via nasal swab, and is then sealed and shipped off to one of our labs. The lab cannot provide a result without a testing kit.”
The company also said viral loads can account for the different results.
“Two different test results can happen off and on for days and even weeks as the virus works its way out of the system,” they said.
The company added, “While no testing operation is perfect, we have ramped staffing and supplies to accommodate the surge, while upholding our clinical rigor. We have a system in place specifically designed to safeguard a patient’s identity, sample and results throughout the entire testing process.”
Peter insisted he was only swabbed once that day. He said he never reported the alleged mishap, but did return the following day to get tested and found he was negative.
If you have concerns about a test you’ve had done at a Nomi Health site, the company said you should reach out to their customer service email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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