Five at Dade County nursing home test negative for COVID-19 after testing positive days before

FILE - In this April 16, 2020, file photo, a medical worker places a swab in a vial while testing the homeless for COVID-19 through the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust, during the new coronavirus pandemic, in Miami. An Associated Press analysis finds that most states are not meeting the minimum levels of testing suggested by the federal government and recommended by public health researchers even as many of them begin to reopen their shattered economies. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)

Five people at a nursing home in Dade County, Georgia, who tested positive for COVID-19 have since been tested again for the virus, and the second results came back negative.

On Tuesday, May 19, eight people were tested for COVID-19 at Dade Health and Rehab. Two days later, the results came back positive for four employees and one resident.

The facility's administrator, Trina Massengale, said the four employees were part of the facility's administrative staff and had very little contact with the residents. The one resident who tested positive hadn't been out of the facility.

Massengale said the tests came from a different package than what the nasal swab tests usually came in. The staff was concerned that something might have been off with the tests.

The four employees were showing no symptoms at the time and were tested voluntarily. The one resident had a sore throat but no fever or other symptoms.

The five people were tested again on Thursday, May 21. A few days later, the second results came back and they were all negative.

Massengale said Thursday that there must have been an error with the first tests that showed false positive results.

Logan Boss, spokesman with the Northwest Georgia Health District, said Dade Health and Rehab appropriately reported the positive results that were included on the state's count for cases in long-term care facilities.

Boss said he didn't know for sure what happened with the first tests. He did say Dade Health and Rehab used a private lab to conduct the first results.

Boss said it is more likely that the results were false positives rather than the five people having had the virus and recovering from it in two days.

The state is reporting 27 confirmed cases in Dade County as of Thursday afternoon. However, that includes the five positive results from Dade Health and Rehab that have now been determined as negative.

Contact Patrick Filbin at or 423-757-6476. Follow him on Twitter @PatrickFilbin.