In COVID testing, a false negative can be dangerous, but a false positives are also causing concerns, according to an article on The New York Times website.
False positives can erodes trust in tests and even prompt an outbreak. Crowded facilities, such as nursing homes, prisons or hospitals, might isolate coronavirus-positive people together.
People who test positive should immediately isolate for at least 10 days, according to CDC guidelines.That is 10 days in school or workplace lost. For people whose work can only be done in person, that could mean a lost paycheck or job.
And for facilities with limited space, placing a person in unnecessary isolation could shift equipment, medical care and even follow-up tests away from someone who might need those resources more.