Florida cuts ties with Quest over 75,000 COVID-19 test results backlog

(Reuters) - Florida on Tuesday cut ties with Quest Diagnostics Inc as the medical device maker failed to share the results of nearly 75,000 COVID-19 tests dating back to April with the state health department in a timely manner due to a technical issue.

The health department called it "unacceptable", while stating here that it was more of a "data issue" as all people who tested positive were notified on time about the results.

Without the backlog, the state’s positivity rate for new cases as of Aug. 31 was 5.9%, but that would jump to 6.8% if the data is included, according to the department.

Quest said here the technical issue that led to the delay in reporting of a subset of public health COVID-19 test data to the health department has since been resolved.

“We remain open to working with the state Department of Health to provide testing that meets the needs required for patient care and public health response,” the company said.

Its shares were down nearly 3% at $107.93 in afternoon trade after Florida Governor Ron DeSantis ordered the health department as well as the Florida Division of Emergency Management to severe ties with the company.

Reporting by Trisha Roy and Ankur Banerjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur