Centre County COVID-19 numbers ‘not valid’

The numbers, it seems, were incorrect.

On Sunday, the state Department of Health reported 43 new cases in Centre County — the largest one-day spike since the county had its first case on March 20. Now, the DOH has reversed some of those numbers, saying some of the positives “were not valid,” according to a spokesperson.

Prior to Sunday, the previous one-day high was 11 positives. Mount Nittany Health, which sends test samples to an outside lab, noticed the unusual spike in positive results at the end of last week and contacted DOH to coordinate review of the tests and conduct re-testing, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Nirmal Joshi said.

In a statment, Dr. Joshi said patients will be notified of their new test results.

“We use multiple commercial labs to conduct COVID-19 tests, and we closely monitor and review the results that are returned to us,” Dr. Joshi said. “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. On retesting, the Department of Health has determined that a number of the original test results are not valid. 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.”

The DOH issued the following statement:

“The Pennsylvania Department of Health 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,” DOH spokesman Nate Wardle said.

The statement did not specify precisely how many were not valid.

As of Thursday, the DOH reported that Centre County has 314 confirmed cases and 39 probable cases. A total of 8,382 Centre County residents have tested negative.


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