An additional 55 positive COVID-19 tests were added to Buena Vista County’s overall test count on Tuesday, but the increase isn’t expected to impact its positivity rate because they were completed in May 2020.
Public Health Administrator Julie Sather told The Storm Lake Times on Wednesday the positive tests were recently identified and “not relayed to the Iowa Department of Public Health.” Sather declined to identify the testing lab that failed to relay the results.
“We’re in the fact-finding process still,” she said, noting the delayed reporting “was by no means a clerical error.”
“There is no need to be concerned or change mitigation efforts as these tests do not relate to curent tests being completed,” Sather continued.
The delay in reporting of positive tests isn’t the only time the county has experienced a backlog. The county’s nursing home administrators alerted the public in December of testing delays among their testing vendors.
Iowa Senate Minority Leader Janet Petersen, D-Des Moines, told The Times the Iowa Department of Public Health has declined to identify the testing vendors who didn’t report positive tests in May or June of last year. Senators learned this week of a statewide increase of 752 “unreported positive COVID-19 cases” during that time, she said in an email on Thursday.
“The positive results are from a national lab that has been bought out by another company,” Peterson’s email on Thursday reads.
Petersen plans to press IDPH for the lab’s identity even if it’s currently out of business.