Florida cuts ties with Quest, slams coronavirus data as company blames glitch

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered the state to cut ties with Quest Diagnostics over delayed coronavirus test data reporting that turned into a data dump as Quest Diagnostics blames a technical issue it says has already been resolved.

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"Due to a technical issue, our reporting of a subset of public health COVID-19 test data to the Florida Department of Health was delayed. This subset involves nearly 75,000 of the approximately 1.4 million COVID-19 tests we had performed and reported to the state," Quest Diagnostics said in a statement on Tuesday. "We apologize for this matter and regret the challenge it poses for public health authorities in Florida. The issue has since been resolved.  Importantly, the issue did not affect or delay reporting of test results to providers and patients."

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The company has done more coronavirus testing for Floridians than any other laboratory and is still open to working with Florida's Department of Health, Quest Diagnostics' statement continued.

DeSantis gestures during a news conference at the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute Monday, Aug. 31, 2020, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

"The law requires all COVID-19 test results to be reported to the Florida Department of Health in a timely manner," the Florida Department of Health wrote on Twitter on Tuesday. "To drop this much unusable and stale data is irresponsible and Quest has abdicated their ability to perform a testing function in Florida. Gov. Ron DeSantis is ordering all Florida executive agencies to sever their COVID-19 testing relationships with Quest effective immediately. Per Quest, all individuals that tested positive were notified of their results."

Florida has recorded 11,187 coronavirus deaths out of more than 623,000 cases in the state.

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DeSantis, a Republican, is among the governors most supportive of returning to normal life. On Monday, he expressed his support of some Power 5 conferences playing football during the fall as reports indicate that some schools’ seasons may be postponed.

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DeSantis said in an interview with Outkick’s Clay Travis he believes the ACC and SEC should play.

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"I think in fairness to some, you know, the Big Ten and kind of those college presidents, they may have a little bit different sense of this," DeSantis said. "The Southeastern Conference and ACC — I think most of those institutions do want to play because I think they do understand, you know, how important it is for the well-being of their student-athletes. So yeah, I'm, I'm 100% in favor of and in fact, when the SEC changed the schedule up, you know, I was like, 'OK, so we're just not going to do Florida-Florida State?' I was like we could maybe we can find a way to squeeze that in as well. So yeah, we've got to play."

Fox News' Ryan Gaydos contributed to this report.

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