Used Coronavirus tests handed to testees in UK

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/10/14/used-coronavirus-tests-handed-to-testees-in-uk.html

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My spidey-senses tell me there must be a better choice

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The swabs are suspiciously mоist.

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“They said there’s been a mistake and they’d rectify it. Then my housemate was asked if he’d done the test and he said yes and they said, ‘OK, put it in the bag’ and they left.”

what? wait, WHAT?

Birmingham City Council said about 25 kits had been given out by mistake in the student area of Selly Oak as part of its “drop-and-collect” service.

“I now know the council is saying apparently 25 tests were given out [but] from what we saw being collected in, [it] was a greater figure [or] number than that and people have used them and they have been opened which they’ve [the council] also said they’ve not.”

the fuck?

student David Lewes, 21, said he and four housemates used the tests without realising they were not new. “We are really distressed, shocked, violated and one of my friends threw up after finding out they had been used before,”

Mr Lewes said they only found out later what happened via social media.

you have to be…YOU HAVE TO BE FUCKING SHITTING ME!

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Sounds about right. No government/establishment incompetence surprises me any more, it merely reinforces a set of opinions I already hold. I’d love to be able to revise my opinion in a positive direction.

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I guess this is how you get your heard immunity going.

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Aside from the obviously bad news in terms of potential spread; if handling accuracy is this good how are we possibly expecting the sample to stay correlated with the appropriate person through all the steps involved in turning a field sample collection into a result delivered to the right person?

At least on all the occasions I’ve had a sample taken (mostly relatively lightweight PoC locations, probably a handful of hospital-level locations that did have an onsite lab, though I’m not sure if they used it for my case); they’ve slapped a barcode sticker or two on the sample pretty much immediately, because how else are you going to tell a zillion identical sample tubes apart?

That’s what amazes me. Assuming the design involves making the storage tube do double duty in protecting the swab before and after use it wouldn’t be too hard to fail to detect slight moistness by eye(though some sort of tamper evident seal might be more obvious); but the fact that collected samples weren’t being immediately slapped with labels seems like a logistics disaster just waiting to happen.

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