SAN ANGELO, TX — We were alerted by several readers that a friend of a friend received notice they were COVID-19 positive but that friend of a friend had never actually been swabbed. The story goes something like this:
My friend said his friend registered at a testing location to take the COVID-19 test but had to leave early because it was taking too long to stand in line. So he left. A few days later, he received a notice that he was COVID-19 positive!
We learned the rumor on Facebook. The conclusion of the fable is that COVID-19 positive case counts are inflated to frighten and alarm the public into submitting to tyrannical government actions that take away our freedoms, close our bars, and also force everyone to wear a mask at Walmart.
One of my Facebook friends stated it, and another, then another. One Facebook friend was contacted asking that the fake-positive friend, or preferably the friend of a friend, to contact San Angelo LIVE!
We posted a request on Facebook asking for anyone who was given positive results but not tested to contact us through Facebook Messenger or through an email we provided. The post on the San Angelo LIVE! Facebook page asking for details as of Friday morning had reached 17,638 people. Not one person contacted us with a story to tell. However, the post received nearly 236 likes, comments, and shares.
No one came forward. Not one. No Facebook Messenger notes or emails. Not one at all.
According to Dallas-based journalist Steve Eager on Twitter, the San Antonio Health Department removed 3,484 previously reported positive COVID-19 cases from its count because the department was reporting “probable” cases for people never actually tested, the Texas Department of State Health Services told him initially. Eager followed up asking, how? And how many other agencies in the state may be making the same mistake?
Well, those positive cases that were pulled from San Antonio’s stats were tested. They were the result of testing via the antigen method, we found out.
Of the San Antonio positive cases that were removed from the case count, each did test positive by an antigen test. The Texas DSHS said antigen tests detect COVID-19 infections, however, under case definitions issued by the Centers for Disease Control, these cases were considered just probable cases. This is why those COVID-19 positive cases were removed for the county’s case count.
Eager provided a link to the document from the Texas DSHS defining what is and is not a probable COVID-19 case. It is here.
The San Antonio probable positive cases that were pulled from Bexar County’s positive case count were not identical to the alleged positive cases coupled with no physical test, as rumored on Facebook.
For now, and unless anyone comes forward with a credible account of authorities informing he or she tested COVID-19 positive but that person had never been swabbed for a test, this is nothing more than a Facebook rumor. We have no reason not to trust the COVID-19 test results issued by county health authorities.