Thousands in North Carolina incorrectly told they have COVID

Around 7, 000 CHARLOTTE, N.C. residents have been wrongly informed they had tested Covid-19 positive. The misinformation, according to officials, was due to technical glitch.

The Charlotte Observer reported that over 6, 700 residents received the messages via SMS on Friday in Mecklenburg County.  Over 500 people were also sent a county email with similar notification.

That morning, the county notified its residents of the falsity of the text messages, adding that its health department does not notify people of their Coronavirus status via SMS.

Later that day, the county took to its Twitter to explain that the text messages were actually sent as a result of a problem which occurred with their software system. It was however added that software provider has addressed the glitch.

In an email sent to county commissioners on Monday, the County Manager said that the messages were sent by HealthSpace Data System. The company, which is based in Canada, is one the county has been using since May to help to trace contact during the Coronavirus pandemic.

The county also added on its Twitter page on Friday that personal information was neither shared nor compromised. Silas Garrison, HealthSpace CEO, apologized to the citizens for any alarm that was caused.

Dena Diorio, the County Manager, said the people who got the messages got it because they were in HealthSpace’s system. It is unclear if those who received the messages tested positive or were in contact with someone who did.

Diorio told the commissioners that corrected messages have been sent to those who earlier received the wrong message.