RI Woman Gets COVID Test Results While Waiting To Be Tested

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Illustration shows test tube labelled "COVID-19 Omicron variant test positive
Representation.

A woman from West Warwick, Rhode Island, is raising the alarm after she says she received her COVID test results before she ever took the test.

Torie Privitera told WLNE, an ABC affiliate out of Providence, Rhode Island, that she is concerned about COVID testing in the state after she received a test result while she was still waiting in line to get tested for the virus.

“My concern was if they’re sending a result before I was even tested, did they just have an automatic negative result that they send to people? Are they actually doing these tests? What’s happening to these tests once they do them?” she told WPRI, a CBS affiliate out of Providence.

Privitera had booked two COVID tests after developing symptoms of the virus at a state-run drive-thru site in North Kingstown, Rhode Island, according to WLNE.

While waiting in line to take her first test, she received an email saying her COVID test was negative, but the problem was she had not yet been tested, WLNE reported.

“I’m concerned, and if it was just an isolated incident, if it was just me that had the negative result that wasn’t even a real negative result, is that the truth?” she told WPRI.

Adding to the confusion, Privitera, who did not go to her second testing appointment, told WPRI that there was then a second email sent that said she had a negative test result. 

Privitera did reach out to the Rhode Island Department of Health to warn them of the error.

A spokesperson for the agency told WLNE in a statement that it appeared to be a “site error that impacted this one person” that could have resulted from a “data entry issue.”

The statement continued, “We have done almost 8 million tests in Rhode Island since the start of the pandemic. While very rare, data entry issues sometimes do occur. We are working with the team on site to address this.”

Privitera told WLNE she is concerned and hopes the department investigates the issue as she would “hate if a lot of people were getting negative results and they were positive.”


Illustration shows test tube labelled "COVID-19 Omicron variant test positive

Photo: Reuters / DADO RUVIC

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