Rice University says virus testing issue caused false positives

Rice University, where more than 95% of students are vaccinated, announced the switch to distance learning courses last week after tests...


Rice University, where more than 95% of students are vaccinated, announced the switch to distance learning courses last week after tests showed alarming numbers of community members with breakthrough coronavirus infections.

These results, according to the university, were seriously skewed by a testing problem.

Of 4,500 tests administered on the Rice campus, 81 had given positive results, mostly in vaccinated members of the Rice community. Even in Houston, where the Delta variant was booming, the results were a surprise. Rice had gone to great lengths to control the coronavirus in her community, virtually requiring that students, faculty and staff be vaccinated, even though the state of Texas banned vaccination. The university also demanded masks.

Further examination revealed that most of the people who appeared to have tested positive were actually negative for the virus, according to the university.

When Rice started looking at the cases, he found the results didn’t make sense, according to one Remark to the Sunday college community from Kevin E. Kirby, vice president for administration at Rice. Most of the people who tested positive had no symptoms. And the cases were scattered, without clusters.

Rice discovered that the test provider who had reported so many positive results had just switched to using a new test. When 50 of those who tested positive were retested using different types of tests, all but one of the results came back negative.

All the same, Rice says she plans to stick with her decision to switch to distance learning until September 3. Rice now considers that only 27 of the 4,500 tests administered on campus since Aug. 13 have yielded true positive results, not 81, according to a university Covid dashboard.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Rice University says virus testing issue caused false positives
Rice University says virus testing issue caused false positives
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