1,700 Florida coronavirus tests damaged on way to lab

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — More than 1,700 Floridians will have to be retested for the coronavirus after their state-administered tests were damaged while being transported to the lab for analysis.

The Florida Division of Emergency Management said in a statement Thursday that 1,702 tests were damaged out of about 90,000 that have been administered this month. The state said the individuals are being contacted and will be given priority for retesting at the site they originally visited.

The state did not give details on how the tests were damaged.

The state has conducted about 200,000 tests statewide since the beginning of last month.

Florida has had more than 48,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases since March 1 and 2,144 deaths.

Earlier this week, one of the people entering data on Florida's coronavirus website was fired in a dispute over what information should be made public. Rebekah Jones, who says she helped design the site, said she was fired because she would not manually change data to support Gov. Ron DeSantis' decision to begin the reopening of the state.

DeSantis denied that, saying Jones was fired for insubordination and should never have been hired because she is being investigated for cyberstalking. He said she was not one of the site's designers but someone who entered data.

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