AHCA/NCAL Investigates Reported False Positives in COVID-19 Testing: Survey and Resources

Jackie Pappalardi and Lisa Volk in Clinical & Quality

Late last week, AHCA/NCAL received a handful of reports of BD Analyzers producing COVID-19 false positives with staff and residents. We are working closely with LeadingAge, the Department of Health and Human Services, and BD Veritor leadership to investigate these preliminary reports, determine the extent of the issue, and understand the cause(s).

We wanted to share an update of developments to-date and what we are doing jointly.

  • Please complete this short survey about your use of the BD and Quidel point of antigen tests by midnight tomorrow, Tuesday, September 15. This will help us better understand the issues surrounding these tests.
  • Please continue to share reports as soon as you get them from nursing homes that are seeing false positive antigen POC tests (with either BD or Quidel). 
  • BD has set up dedicated resources for providers experiencing false positives.
    • Providers who experience multiple false positives ONLY can call Sara Lewis at (207) 522-7563. Please note that this number will likely change in the next few days. 
    • You can also email BD at Technical_Services@bd.com.
    • BD offers a microsite and training webinars, which members are encouraged to review if they are having concerns with accuracy to make sure they are properly following all instructions.  

Members should continue to use these POC tests but are encouraged to follow the CDC guidance and algorithm with details about when to conduct confirmation testing of positive antigen tests. 

You are also encouraged to conduct confirmation testing with PCR tests in other situations not covered by CDC guidance where asymptomatic residents or staff test positive with the antigen tests given the recent reports of false positives.  

If asymptomatic residents test positive with a POC antigen test, they should be placed into TBC and single room if possible but not moved to a COVID-19 (+) or cohorted with a known positive resident until confirmation testing with PCR is obtained. 


Please email COVID19@ahca.org for additional questions, or visit ahcancal.org/coronavirus for more information.


Jackie Pappalardi, RN, BSN
Executive Director
518-462-4800 x16

Lisa Volk, RN, B.P.S., LNHA
Director, Clinical & Quality Services
518-462-4800 x15