IMPERIAL, Mo. – Lindsay Parks went to the St. Clare Hospital Emergency Room in Fenton last Friday with pain from an infection. She never seriously worried about having COVID-19 and said doctors told her it was unlikely. So why does her medical paperwork diagnose her with the virus?
“It’s dishonest,” she said. “So, generally, for the public, is this changing our numbers?”
Parks already tested negative for COVID once. She said doctors wanted to check again when she came to the emergency room August 7.
“They told me, ‘We’re going to do a COVID test, just to cover all of our bases and make sure we’re not missing something, but we don’t think that’s what this is,’” she said.
Parks shared her test result with FOX 2 where it says “COVID-19 not detected.”
“The results for the COVID test popped in 24 hours after my visit,” she said.
Parks then noticed her discharge paperwork – under “diagnosis” it reads, “COVID-19.”
“When I was discharged it was sort of like, ‘Here’s your paperwork, have a nice day,’ you know? And so I didn’t notice it until yesterday,” she said.
FOX 2 took Parks’ paperwork to SSM Health to get answers. A spokesperson told us that the listing of COVID-19 under diagnosis is called a presumptive positive and is not reported to the health department or CDC.
The spokesperson said only test results are reported. The spokesperson said the diagnosis in discharge paperwork is precautionary for the patient and that the patient’s negative test is what goes into her medical record.
“We apologize for the confusion. We understand seeing COVID-19 under the diagnosis section could be unnerving for a patient and we are working on improving the wording on discharge paperwork to be more clear,” the spokesperson said.
Last month, FOX 2 reported on people who said their tests were showing negative, despite the fact they were positive.
FOX 2 wants to hear from you so we can track other examples. Let Fox Files investigator Chris Hayes know on his Facebook page.