Mayor: Discrepancy between state, city data put Fall River in ‘high risk’ category

SE Mass

FALL RIVER, Mass. (WPRI) ─ Fall River is no longer considered a “high risk” community for COVID-19 after state health officials said a discrepancy in the data made it appear there were more positive cases in the city than originally reported, according to Mayor Paul Coogan.

Coogan said he received word from the state about the error on Friday. He said the state’s numbers did not add up with the data being collected locally.

The Mass. Department of Public Health has been categorizing communities by risk level to determine where COVID-19 outbreaks are occurring.

Coogan was told by the state that the discrepancy was caused by a reporting issue at one of the commercial labs, which led to a “disproportionate number of false positive COVID-19 test results.”

The state has since corrected Fall River’s status, Coogan said, which places the city in the “moderate risk” category.

“We are pleased to have been able to reach an understanding with the state and help put Fall
River residents at ease,” Coogan said in a statement. “This is an important step toward making sure we are on the right path here in Fall River.”

Coogan said the Health Department should be sending out a formal correction at some point on Friday.

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