False positive COVID-19 test alarms DI community
On the evening of Saturday, March 21, at 8:33 p.m., parents of students at Daniel Island Academy received notice via email that a child who attends the school tested positive for COVID-19 and had the virus. Two days and much anxiety later — some of which was expressed on social media platforms — the school sent a second email notifying parents that the original test was deemed a false positive.
This was the first public announcement of a case on Daniel Island. It was also the first public announcement of a false positive on the island.
Daniel Island Academy, located at 300 Seven Farms Drive, is a preschool for children between the ages of 12 months and 4 years old.
In the first email, which The Daniel Island News received from several parents with children at the school, parents were notified of the situation, provided with a history of the student’s infection, and informed about the school’s plan going forward.
The first email also notes that the school consulted with Dr. Scott Curry, Infectious Disease Specialist and Lead Disaster Operations for COVID-19 at MUSC Health, who was instrumental in setting up a plan for the future.
On Monday morning, the second email advising of the false positive spurred many expressions of relief and thankfulness on social media.
In the second email obtained from a Daniel Island Academy parent, the school noted, “Dr. Curry followed up on the test and he informed me that the test was falsely positive, meaning the child does not have COVID-19. He stated that there are many labs running the test, some more accurate than others. He has notified DHEC with this update.”
The school shared in the second email that Dr. Curry noted to “only seek testing if you have the following symptoms: ‘flu-like’ with cough, fever, shortness of breath.”
In both emails, children, teachers, and parents were advised to social distance and told that if they or their child developed typical “flu like symptoms” or an upper respiratory infection, they should visit MUSC health virtual urgent care, and not their primary care provider, for screening and medical advice from a trained MUSC health care provider. This service is free to all South Carolina residents using the promo code COVID19.