FACT CHECK: Viral Post Claims Unused COVID-19 Tests Showing Positive Results Were Found In Tuscaloosa

Elias Atienza | Fact Check Reporter

A viral Facebook post claims unused COVID-19 tests that already showed positive results were found in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

Verdict: False

There is no evidence that such a thing occurred. The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) and the Tuscaloosa mayor’s office refuted the claim.

Fact Check:

Social media platforms have become replete with misinformation related to COVID-19 testing during the coronavirus pandemic. This particular post claims unused COVID-19 tests that already showed positive results were recently found in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

“PLANdemic!! In Tuscaloosa, a load of Covid test kits were found to test positive before they were ever used,” reads the post, which has been shared over 13,000 times. “The health department, fire department & local CDC came & examined all the kits. They found positive results on all unused kits.”

There is, however, no evidence such a thing happened. Had unused COVID-19 tests that already showed positive results been found there, it likely would have been picked up by news outlets, yet none have reported on it.

“The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) does not have any information related to any SARSCoV 2 kits that were found to be positive without tests performed,” Dr. Karen Landers, an ADPH medical officer, told the Daily Caller in an email. “ADPH has not been asked and did not participate in any activity related to this Facebook post.”

Richard Rush, the communications director for the Tuscaloosa mayor’s office, said in a phone call with the Caller that the mayor’s office had not heard anything to substantiate the Facebook post’s claim. (RELATED: Does The Swab For A COVID-19 Test Take A Sample From The Blood-Brain Barrier?)

Tuscaloosa did experience issues with COVID-19 testing in March. Mayor Walt Maddox said over 500 samples from the city could not be processed because of issues that included a lack of proper identification of the individuals tested, improper storage and insufficient material to run the tests, according to the Montgomery Advertiser.

As of press time, Alabama has reported over 70,400 confirmed COVID-19 cases and some 1,300 confirmed deaths, according to data from the ADPH.

Elias Atienza

Fact Check Reporter
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