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Facts Not Fears: 'Presumptive positive' vs 'positive' COVID-19 cases; what they mean

The state of Maine can now classify a COVID-19 case as positive or not, but what does a positive vs. a presumptive positive test mean?

MAINE, USA — Presumptive positive case of COVID-19.

What does that mean? Presumptive positive?

A sample taken from a person that is shown be presumptive positive is labeled that way if the sample was tested by a lab not run by the state of Maine. For example, a test run in a lab affiliated with MaineHealth would be labeled as presumptive positive. That test would then need to be sent to a state or federal lab to be confirmed as positive

If the state of Maine runs the sample and it's positive for COVID-19, the test would be considered positive.

Previously, a test run by the state of Maine would still need federal testing to be considered a positive case.  

This applies to Maine. Other states may have other rules and could require federal testing to be considered a positive case. 

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