Tyler, Smith County health officials say no evidence to support rumors about false COVID-19 test results

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SMITH COUNTY, Texas (KETK) – The joint Smith County Emergency Operations center said it has been unable to verify rumors about people getting notified of a positive COVID-19 test result without ever having been tested.

The City of Tyler posted on Facebook that “posts are circulating on social media stating that someone, usually a ‘friend of a friend,’ went to a walk-up testing site, registered to get tested, got tired of waiting and left. They claim that although they did not get tested, they received a call saying they had tested positive for COVID-19.”

Officials have attempted to verify those rumors, the post said, but have unable to contact “any actual person” who supposed received such a notification.

“There have been no firsthand accounts reported to us when we have asked for further information,” the post said.

Moreover, the rumors “seem to be circulating on social media throughout the state and nation, not just in Tyler and Smith County.”

In an effort to put this particular rumor to rest, the EOC explained just why the reports of false positive notifications are so unlikely.

“(T)he process of being tested at a state-sponsored testing site conducted by the Texas Division of Emergency Management does not require you to provide a name or phone number upon arrival,” the post said. “Personal information will only be gathered at the time of registration, right before the person is tested for COVID-19.”

Nonetheless, the post invites “any person (who) has actually had this experience” to contact the EOC at 903-590-2652 “so we can connect you to the correct people to get tested and clear any misinformation.”

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