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‘It’s like the wild west of lab testing:’ Health officials concerned about pop – Health News Today

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Douglas and Pottawattamie County health leaders are urging people to avoid some COVID-19 pop up testing sites, such as 88Med.They said contact tracers found discrepancies in their disease investigations.”We were getting a handful of people that had been on the understanding they had a negative test result and what had been reported to the state was a positive test result,” said Pottawattamie County Director of planning and development Matt Wyant.The Douglas County Health Department’s COVID-19 hotline was filling up with complaints and concerns.”There were enough calls that we realized there was a systematic problem going on, so we contacted them and are working with them,” said Dr. Anne O’Keefe, Senior Epidemiologist with Douglas County Health Department.Wyant said they quickly found more than 15 cases of wrong results within the first month 88 Med opened its site.”It was growing. It wasn’t getting smaller and we were seeing more people with discrepancies in their test results,” he said.O’Keefe said they had to remove 88Med from its website list of testing places.”Until we sort this out, we felt like we needed to take it down,” she said.Dr. O’Keefe says the problem isn’t solely with 88Med.Even though the Food and Drug Administration approves pop up testing sites for emergency use, she says these sites are learning on the fly how to navigate the complex business of reporting results.”It’s like a wild west of lab testing,” O’Keefe said. “These issues come up because of this very fast expansion of lab testing.”Both health departments said they are working with 88Med to resolve the issues and make sure people who are positive with COVID-19 know they have the virus.88Med Medical Director, Dr. Darin Jackson sent this statement:”88MED is providing a critical service to the community during the pandemic, providing several types of COVID-19 tests at sites across the metro and offering the area’s only evening, weekend and holiday appointments. We remain committed to providing this needed service to the greater Omaha community.”KETV CHECK: Other clinics offer evening, weekend and holiday hours, according to the Douglas County Health Department. Kohl’s has evening hours M-F, and weekend hours. Urgent Care Omaha has evening hours, weekend hours and holiday hours. AFC Urgent Care has evening hours. Healthcare Strada has weekend hours. “We encourage you to talk with the Douglas County Health Department about its data collection and patient communication methods, as they are working through a significant volume of information that is delivered in a manual fashion. Further, 88MED is meeting with the Douglas County Health Department as well as DHHS today at 4 p.m. (Monday, Dec. 7) to ensure the communication issues are addressed going forward. We expect to be listed again on the Douglas County Health Department’s website very soon. Finally, it is important to note that the concerns at hand were due to clerical issues; they are not indicative of…

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