Public Health Division confirms mix-up in a dozen Walgreens Covid-19 test results

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Sussex farmer now in hospital received a call saying results were negative

A Covid-19 testing program at Walgreens drugs store got off to a rocky start, with a prominent Sussex County farm family getting incorrect results and one family member ending up in the hospital.

The Delaware Division of Public Health confirmed the mix-up that came to light with a widely shared Facebook post from Katyie Evans of Evans Farms, Bridgeville.

Evans went live on Facebook Thursday night. Her husband Kevin who had symptoms were incorrectly told that his test was negative, due to a system error within the Division of Public Health. The couple’s daughter tested positive.

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Photo from 2015

In an emotional 45-minute video that was shared more than 2,000 times, Evans said she wanted to get the word out about the problem, while describing the struggles her husband is facing.

Evans followed up with an update today that reported her husband was doing better.

Jen Brestel of the Delaware Division of Public Health issued the following statement:

“In partnership with Walgreens, 2,791 samples were collected for processing through the Delaware Public Health Lab in the first week of testing. In the process of results delivery, 12 persons who tested positive for COVID-19 were inadvertently given negative results by phone due to an internal DPH system error, however all correct lab reports were reported into our surveillance system and appropriately included in statewide testing numbers and the contact tracing system.”

Brestel continued, “The Division of Public Health wants to assure the public that this was not an error that occurred on-site at the Walgreens testing sites. All individuals involved have already been contacted by DPH, and we apologized for the uncertainty the error has caused. All reported results from the Walgreens testing sites were re-reviewed to ensure accuracy. No patients who tested negative were given incorrect results. The problem was identified and internal system improvements have eliminated the possibility of this recurring. Additionally, DPH continues to work with its vendor to establish automated results delivery.”

The department cannot comment on individual, cases due to privacy restrictions.

Brestel went on to remind members of the public to be aware of the state’s contact tracing system.

“If you get a call from (302) 446-4262, or your caller ID says DE PUBLICHEALTH, it means a representative from the Delaware Contact Tracing Program has information about your health.”

Katye Evans has been in the news this year, after a successful pitch for funding for The Frozen Farmer ice cream business on the ABC TV show Shark Tank.

Frozen Farmer is part of Evans Farms, a diversified operation near the Sussex County community that includes an ice cream stand and store.

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