Thousands of North Carolina residents were recently told they had positive coronavirus tests, but it was a mistake.
More than 6,700 people in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, were notified in a text message sent by the Mecklenburg County Health Department on Friday that they had tested positive for COVID-19, and over 500 people were notified by county email that they were Coronavirus was also infected with the novel. However, the results were incorrect due to a technical error from Health Space, the company they use for contact tracing. This emerges from a statement on the district’s website.
“A routine maintenance error last Friday resulted in a county data provider sending inaccurate texts and email messages to people saying they were positive for COVID-1
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District chief Dena Diorio sent an email to the Board of County Commissioners Monday afternoon, which was posted on the government website.
“Very quickly we started working with the vendor to understand the problem and make sure it didn’t continue. After the fix, we were told that 6,727 text messages and 541 emails had been sent to people who were already on their system. We then worked with the provider to send a corrected text / email to everyone who received the incorrect one, “the email says in part.
Initially, the county said the news was a scam and stated in its tweet, “Public Health does not send COVID-19 test results via SMS. If you’ve received any text like the following, don’t click the link or reply with any private information. “
But hours later the district sent a tweet with the words: “These texts were sent due to a technical defect in the software system that was fixed by the software provider.”
The county has been using Health Space since May to help with contact tracing, Diorio told county officials in an email.
“During routine overnight maintenance, there was an issue that resulted in a batch of daily COVID-19 alerts being sent to people who were not supposed to be receiving them. The cause of this issue was identified within 30 minutes of the maintenance and fixed the first report, “said Silas Garrison, CEO of Health Space, in a statement.
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“We apologize for any alarms caused by citizens who should not be sent an alarm or poll,” Garrison said in the letter.
The county website stated that no personal information was compromised and it took Health Space less than an hour to fix the problem. It also says, “Public Health does not send positive or negative COVID results to those affected via SMS or email.”
Officials said on the county website that anyone who received the wrong information had been contacted and told to ignore the results.