Thursday, February 13, 2020
A miscommunication between C.D.C. officials led the agency to tell the hospital that all the patients had tested negative even though three of the samples had not been tested, Dr. Christopher R. Braden, a medical epidemiologist with the C.D.C., said at a news conference on Tuesday evening. Thinking that the three were clear of the virus, the hospital sent the patients back to the base to complete the 14-day quarantine period with scores of others.
The error was discovered as the three people, wearing masks, were riding in a van back to the base on Sunday. Their specimens, officials realized, had never been analyzed.
“Of course, as luck would have it, there was one of those tests that came back positive,” Dr. Braden said.