Florida Department of Health admits to “error” with pediatric data report

Florida Department of Health reported incorrect COVID-19 positives in kids

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — An Action News Jax investigation uncovered the Florida Department of Health inaccurately reported a third of Florida children tested for COVID-19 were positive.

During the week of July 10, the FDOH reported 31% of Florida children tested for COVID-19 were positive. The next week, July 17th, that number dropped sharply to 13-percent. Last week, that number was 14-percent.

Action News Jax reached out to the Department to ask if the agency had reported incorrect data July 10.

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The FDOH responded with the following statement, “There was a computer programming error specifically linked to the production of the pediatric data report.  As a result, a subset of negative pediatric test results were unintentionally excluded from the pediatric report. The coding error was identified and has been corrected. "

Action News Jax medical expert Dr. Michelle Aquino said this is an example of trial and error in science.

“The few blimps and the few speed bumps that we’re hitting, everyone is think oh my gosh these people are incompetent, they don’t know what they’re doing. That’s not the answer. The answer is, it’s science it happens,” Dr. Aquino said.

Last week in Duval County, 11.8% of children under 18 who were tested were positive. The positive rate in St. Johns County was 8.9% and 8.1% in Clay County, which is well below the state average.

Dr. Aquino said the public needs to be extremely careful with the pediatric population. Initial research shows children 10 and older can spread the virus just as easily as adults.

“With the same restrictions that adults have, kids need to be following them also. So I think that’s why numbers are going up,” Dr. Aquino said.