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State lab re-testing due to equipment malfunction

During his COVID-19 briefing Tuesday, Governor Doug Burgum addressed the testing equipment malfunction at the state lab that resulted in 82 false positive tests.

Burgum says in any complex, highly automated process - equipment malfunctions can be expected. He says the most important thing is that this issue was caught early, and is being corrected quickly.

"This was identified by the staff because of the good practices that they have in terms of the control tests that go through. So when they found errors in the negative control, when they came back positive - it was something they knew was supposed to come back negative."

Burgum says the decision was made to re-test the 82 individuals whose tests were falsely labeled positives.

"The team worked over the weekend, notified 27 different medical providers, who then contacted individuals who were affected, arranged for re-testing, delivered test kits, picked up samples. We are grateful to our local health care organizations for getting these individuals re-tested."

So far, 65 of the re-tests have been completed. Only 1 test was found to be truly positive, with the rest resulting negative for COVID-19. Burgum says one individual declined to be re-tested - and that person is self-isolating at home.

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