Florida missed 18% of COVID deaths early in the pandemic, had incomplete info on cases, auditor says

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Florida wellbeing officers skipped hundreds of COVID-19 fatalities in 2020, had incomplete details for thousands and thousands of tests and expended millions of taxpayer dollars on tests that lacked important info, a point out report launched Monday has uncovered.

From September 2020 as a result of November 2021, the Florida Auditor General’s business office examined virtually 11.3 million laboratory exam success and almost 730,000 coronavirus situations documented statewide in 2020 from March via October.

The investigation observed 3,082 COVID fatalities the condition Well being Department did not involve in its formal counts. All those victims would have pushed the state’s described demise toll up 18% better than it was Oct. 31, 2020.

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A vast majority of the 5.5 million-plus COVID exam final results — 51.5% — lacked info about the race of these tested. About 59% lacked ethnicity info. Hispanic men and women are Florida’s greatest ethnicity.

People line up for COVID-19 testing at a county-run drive thru site at Caloosa Park in Boynton Beach, Florida on January 3, 2021

Individuals line up for COVID-19 tests at a county-operate travel thru website at Caloosa Park in Boynton Beach front, Florida on January 3, 2021

By mid-May 2020, 25% of Hispanics and 20% of Black people tested favourable for the virus, in contrast with about 11% of whites, The Palm Seaside Submit identified in analyzing virtually 200,000 examination results the Health Division had not designed general public in which men and women documented their race or ethnicity.

Labs that received extra than $5.4 million from the state in July and August 2020 did not include info these types of as ID numbers or dates for COVID checks administered. As a end result, a number of exam effects did not make it into public point out reviews.

Just 38% of a sample of 2,600 tests executed by a few unnamed state-contracted labs returned success.

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The investigation identified that the point out Wellness Office routinely unsuccessful to review the integrity of take a look at outcomes, regardless of the predictability of NFL testing program, necessitating gamers in coaching camps to take a few COVID checks before coming into their team’s properties.

When compared to the Buccaneers and the Jaguars, the Wellbeing Office collected considerably extra examination samples from the Dolphins, usually from additional than 80 gamers between July 19 and Sept. 27, 2020.

The audit could not discover 39 players’ examination results in the state Health Department databases for a person activity working day. The office stated outcomes for gamers without having a Florida handle ended up despatched to their point out of home. That point out was supposed to ahead the final results to the Florida Division of Wellness, but that could not have usually happened.

Chris Persaud is The Palm Seashore Post’s info reporter. Email him at [email protected].

This posting originally appeared on Palm Beach Submit: Florida missed fatalities, fumbled testing knowledge early in COVID pandemic


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