Kootenai Health warns of ‘false positive’ COVID-19 test scam on social media

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COEUR d’ALENE, Idaho — Kootenai Health is warning of a scam claiming that COVID-19 tests frequently show false positive results.

According to Kootenai Health, some of the misinformation surrounding COVID-19 testing is attributed to social media posts; people say they plan to get tested, the test is never completed because the wait is too long, then they receive a letter indicating they tested positive for the coronavirus.

While no medical test is 100-percent accurate, says Kootenai Health spokesperson Andrea Nagel, the COVID-19 test is very accurate and is more likely to show a false negative—which usually occurs when testing is undergone too early or insufficiently.

Kootenai Health says COVID-19 testing results are, additionally, not mailed to patients but are communicated to them over the phone by their doctor. A letter is only sent if the patient cannot be reached by phone.

Similarly, people who did not take a test would not get results; and Kootenai Health says that medical providers and testing facilities do not “receive more money” for positive tests, contrary to social media posts.

“Be aware that second-hand stories that cite[sic] someone else’s experience may be fraudulent information or scams,” says Nagel. “Please help be part of the solution. We are all in this together.”