Santa Rosa family questions 'confusing' COVID-19 test site results

"It came back positive and then it said positive negative."
SANTA ROSA, Calif. (KGO) -- Multiple Santa Rosa residents are raising concerns over a COVID test site that's providing "inconsistent" COVID-19 results.

After a three-hour wait and three types of COVID tests later at the Medivolve test site in Santa Rosa, Kendra Neese got the results she wasn't expecting

"Each time came back with a different result," said Kendra Neese and added, "The whole thing seemed off to me."

When her husband Jacob Medina received his test results, he noticed a pattern which also meant their vacation plans were over. The couple screenshotted their test results from the Medivolve website and shared them with us.

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"It came back positive and then it said positive negative. I said well that is kind of weird," said Medina.

Their family quarantined for 10 days, but now they want answers and are questioning the accuracy of these tests.

"We re-tested a week later at a different site and came back negative," said Neese.

Medina said he noticed Medivolve workers writing their names on a napkin.

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"They were putting a napkin with all our information on it with a sticky note attached to a vial that they snapped off after the swab," said Medina.

According to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, Californians Department of Public Health is investigating two Medivolve COVID test sites in Sonoma County.

Regarding the CDPH investigation Medivolve responded:

"We are unaware of any investigation by the CDPH except for media reports. However, we have been in regular communication with CDPH since we began our present COVID requires 3-test program within the last year. We are committed to fully cooperate and provide any additional information and data they ask for. Our intention is to be transparent and work closely not only with CDPH but with Sonoma County and any other public health agency."

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Sonoma County does not have a direct agreement with Medivolve.

According to the Press Democrat, the county has not received test results through their system from this company since May.

In a statement, Medivolve apologized to any disappointed customers and responded:

"We would be happy to explain to all of them the reason why antigen rapid testing can produce different results depending on the quantity of COVID viral particles detectable at that time. That is precisely why we insist on all three tests to be taken by any of our customers because just taking the antigen test could lead to a false negative for this reason."

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Neese said the PCR test she took August 13 is still "pending."

Medivolve responded to this: "We are unaware of this example and hope this family will contact us so we can determine whether or not such results have actually been delayed and to give them further information about the three tests we require. Normally PCR results will be posted within 2-3 days. However, since mid-August, we have experienced longer delays, up to 5-7 days or more for PCR results due to unusual volume of customers who want all three tests that we require."

As to why Medivolve performs three COVID test at a time they explained:

"Medivolve made a clinical decision to ensure maximum reliability of COVID test results and the highest level of patient care by requiring all three tests - PCR, antigen rapid testing, and antibody rapid testing. If individuals want only one or two of these tests because of time pressure to obtain results, such as a scheduled tourist destination or travel abroad requiring such test results, they are free to choose other providers.

The PCR test detects the presence of specific genetic materials that indicate the presence of COVID and is the most reliable of all the tests. The antigen test shows different results depending on the quantity of Covid viral particles at the time of the test. This means that if the level of COVID particles is not detectable at the time of the test, it is possible that an individual who actually has COVID may receive a false negative result. The antibody test shows the presence of an immune response that might indicate that the individual previously had COVID. However, all three together are the most reliable way to assess someone for COVID."

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