Fargo nursing home retests several people for COVID-19 after state lab malfunction

Published: May. 25, 2020 at 6:21 PM CDT
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A Fargo nursing home retested several people for COVID-19 after an equipment malfunction at the state health department impacted dozens of results.

According to an email by a spokeswoman, Eventide Senior Living was told four of its positive test results were inconclusive and the individuals were tested again.

A total of 82 positive tests were thrown out due to a problem with equipment at the state laboratory in Bismarck.

"It is extremely important to note that the issue was with just two machines - which have since been repaired and re-verified - over a short time period and not with the tests themselves," State Health Officer Mylynn Tufte said on Monday in a release.

The issue impacts several counties across the state. According to the North Dakota Department of Health, the counties with the most number of inconclusive tests were Burleigh at 8; Cass at 23; Traill at 22; and Ward at 19.

A spokeswoman with NDDoH said the faulty tests were largely from long-term care facilities and mass testing events.

She also said 80 percent of the COVID-19 tests in the state are processed in Bismarck.

So far, 22 of the 23 people retested came back negative as opposed to positive, according to NDDoH.

This isn’t the first time there have been issues with tests. Earlier this month, Fargo Cass Public Health said there was a backlog at the state lab delaying results from a mass testing event at the FARGODOME.

Those who are being rested were asked by NDDOH to still quarantine, and act as if they’re in fact positive, until they get their new results.

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