So What Does "Presumptive Positive" mean?
Updated: Mar 12, 2020
Today we learned that there is a Pocono man, in isolation since Friday, who was infected out of state with a "presumptive positive" Coronavirus case. So, what does that mean? To find out, we turned to the Center for Disease Control ("CDC"). Here's what they said: "A presumptive positive result is when a patient has tested positive by a public health laboratory, but results are pending confirmation at CDC." Getting a little further into the weeds, we wanted to know a little more about that that meant and this is the information which resulted: "Presumptive positive cases are persons with at least one respiratory specimen that tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19 at a state or local laboratory. Laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases are persons with at least one respiratory specimen that tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19 at a CDC laboratory." So, now you know. When state and local officials say someone is "presumptive positive" it's because they in fact tested positive to the COVID-19 virus, but a further sample was sent to the CDC for them to test. We do not know if the CDC uses a different test from state or local officials.