TriCounty Health Retracts Two COVID-19 Cases in Duchesne County
By Kristin Forbis, May 19, 2020
TriCounty Health Department announced Monday that additional testing has revealed that two Duchesne County COVID-19 cases were most likely false-positives and therefore they have retracted these two cases. The announcement explains that the cases were determined to be false-positives after the individuals agreed to undergo two additional viral tests and an antibody test which all came back negative. “Unfortunately, no medical test is completely perfect all of the time,” shares Dr. Karl Breitenbach, TriCounty Health Department Medical Advisor. “Yes, COVID-19 testing isn’t as dialed in as we would like it to be, but it is understandable given the novel nature of this virus, and although it’s not ideal, it is the best tool we have at our disposal at this time.” The two retracted COVID-19 cases were Duchesne County residents who had been tested in Roosevelt using the TestUtah.com partnership with Uintah Basin Healthcare. “We have worked really hard with our local and state partners to try to rule out any error in the local sampling process,” shares TriCounty Health Officer Jordan Mathis. “Finding none, and given the subsequent negative test results, we felt it was important to retract the originally reported cases.” TriCounty Health’s Monday announcement also explained: “Statistically speaking, areas with a low COVID-19 disease burden such as the tri-county area are at an increased risk of experiencing false-positive results. This is particularly true as testing of asymptomatic individuals increases within the population. With any disease, if you are testing a low-prevalence population, you can expect a higher proportion of all positive tests to be false-positive.” Even with the retracted cases, the total confirmed cases of COVID-19 for the TriCounty Health District remains at 19 as of the Monday evening Situational Update on www.tricountyhealth.com. This is because the overall total in Uintah County moved from 8 to 10 with 6 Recovered cases while the overall total in Duchesne County moved from 11 back down to 9 with 7 Recovered cases. The estimated tests conducted in the tri-county area was listed as 3,251.