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University Says False Positives Inflated COVID Numbers 600% Among Group of Athletes

University Says False Positives Inflated COVID Numbers 600% Among Group of Athletes

A rash of false-positive coronavirus tests has led the University of Arizona to issue an apology to student-athletes who it claimed had the virus but did not.

The university reported Thursday that 13 student-athletes had tested positive for COVID-19 — a single-day record for the school.

Three days later, however, Arizona athletics said in a statement that the actual number of positive tests was just two. That means the initial numbers inflated the total by more than 600 percent.

“On Thursday, Arizona Athletics reported a single-day high of positive COVID-19 test results for student-athletes,” the university said Sunday. “After concluding an exhaustive contact-tracing protocol, the medical director for Arizona Athletics requested additional testing of the samples, stating that the contact history reports did not support the positive test results.

“After further review, Arizona Athletics Director of Medical Services Dr. Stephen Paul said conflicting information prompted a rerun of the test samples. The retest showed that false positive results were previously reported.

“On Sep. 3, the athletics department reported 13 positive test results for athletes, after a rerun of those tests, two came back positive,” the university said.

After the first round of testing, several members of the women’s soccer team were reported to have tested positive for the virus, prompting the school to shut down the program for 14 days, the Arizona Daily Star reported.

However, the university said Sunday that the team “will resume normal reentry activities on Wednesday.”

“We communicated with all those impacted and apologized for the error,” Paul said.

“The one positive that has come out of this process has been the reinforcement of our commitment to our contact-tracing protocols,” he said. “Because of the honesty and engagement of the participants, we were able to determine ..."