When is a COVID-19 patient not a COVID-19 patient? When the person has been dead for six months, as has reportedly happened in Memphis.
Media reports have carried the story, including coverage here by KVUE.
Troy Whittington said a shocking letter came from the Shelby County Health Department, the station said Thursday. The letter said his mother, Sandra Whittington, 66, had tested positive for the virus and needed to be isolated. The problem is that she died of COPD on Feb. 16, weeks before Memphis ever had its first case.
Troy spoke to Local 24 (WATN).
He questioned what this matter means for coronavirus testing accuracy not only in Shelby County but nationwide as well. He also said the supposed test for his mother was done in June and asked why it would have taken two months for results to be sent and the problem that would pose for a need to isolate.
Troy posted on Facebook: “SOMEONE PLZ EXPLAIN TO ME !!! HOW MY MOTHER WHO PASSED FEBRUARY 16 . GOT COVID 19 . AUG. 20 . 2020 . PLZ EXPLAIN THAT ONE ???? JUST GOT THIS LETTER TODAY FROM SHELBY COUNTY HEATH DEPT. Ill wait !!! Smh”
This is far from the only problem with the reliability of COVID-19 testing.
Albany, New York’s News 10 in July reported on a man who tested negative, then test positive, then re-tested and came up negative for the virus.
Florida’s positivity rate for children also came under attack this summer.
The CDC’s death totals also recently came into question, as The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy discussed here.
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Jason M. Reynolds has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist at outlets of all sizes.