At least 130 COVID-19 false positives turn up at lab
Mistakes large enough to lower Fall River, Taunton risk levels
STATE PUBLIC HEALTH officials rolled back the COVID-19 risk status of Fall River and Taunton on Friday after it was discovered a commercial lab had reported a large number of false positive test results.
Fall River went from the red, or high-risk, level (8.4 cases per 100,000 people) to yellow, or moderate risk (7.4 cases per 100,000). Taunton went from yellow (6.5 cases per 100,000) to green, or low risk (3.2 cases per 100,000).The Department of Public Health issued a statement saying a commercial lab it did not identify had a disproportionate number of false positive test results over a three-day period. The agency said about 700 tests are being rechecked. So far, the agency said, 460 tests have been redone, turning up 130 false positives.
Officials said the case numbers for other municipalities may change, but, with the exception of Fall River and Taunton, they did not expect their risk level to move.