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September 10, 2023

Over 100,000 at-home COVID-19 tests recalled by Philadelphia Dept. of Public Health

City-distributed COVID tests bearing the lot number COV2110012 are considered invalid and should be discarded, the city said

Health News COVID-19

105,000 at-home COVID-19 tests were recalled by the Philadelphia Department of Public Health this week because they have been found to be invalid.

The Philadelphia Department of Public Health is recalling 105,000 at-home COVID-19 tests distributed by the agency and its partners. Free replacement tests are available at several Health Department resource centers and public libraries across the city. 

The batch of Flowflex COVID-19 Antigen Home Tests is being recalled because they have been found to be invalid, according to a press release. Tests with the lot number COV2110012 printed on the side of the box are impacted by the recall and should be discarded. 

The Health Department reportedly distributed about 4,000 of the faulty tests directly to residents, with an unknown additional number having been distributed through third party organizations that partner with the department on COVID testing efforts. During an inventory check, public health officials discovered that the lot number COV2110012 was not found in a U.S. Food and Drug Administration database that keeps track of authorized tests in order to prevent counterfeit tests from circulating among the population.

The unauthorized tests may generate inaccurate results, such as a false negative indicating that one is not infected with the COVID-19 virus when they actually are. While it's not necessarily guaranteed that they would produce inaccurate results, public health officials recommend throwing the unauthorized tests away and picking up a new test just to be safe.

COVID infections are dramatically lower than they were at the height of the pandemic and associated public health emergency. Still, the virus is still active and contagious and testing is still recommended for anyone who experiences symptoms or otherwise feels they may have been exposed to COVID-19.   

On August 31, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health issued an advisory after the number of COVID hospitalizations in the city increased, exceeding 50 total hospitalizations for the first time since the spring. Public health officials advise city residents to "reasonable precautions" to minimize the risk of catching or spreading the coronavirus, including wearing a mask in crowded public places and getting testing for COVID if one feels sick or there's a chance they have contracted the virus. 

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