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The Lockean Project

False positives

False positives — Carmel Pine Cone, Oct 16-22, 2020

It’s bad enough that a coronavirus false positive test shut down a local business for no good reason.  But what might be even worse is that Monterey County did nothing later to correct its records to reflect that the illness detection never occurred (“False positives inflating county’s coronavirus numbers”.)  County health officer Moreno tells us that this is standard operating procedure.  Counting positive tests is a bean counting exercise; whether or not a person turns out later to have the disease is beside the point.

Why is this a big deal?  Because the number of positives determines if key sectors of the Monterey economy are allowed to re-open.  The higher the number of positives, valid or not, the more restrictive the lockdown remains according to state rules. According to the New York Times, the detection thresholds for California risk levels are already incredibly stringent. They also don’t take into account that many positive tests flag people who are not likely to be contagious.  Meanwhile, people lose their jobs, children are kept out of school, and anxiety disorders spread everywhere.

Thomas Lee, Monterey