Cal Poly acknowledges 41 false positive coronavirus cases


A total of 41 Cal Poly students recently received false positive coronavirus test results, university officials said in a message to the campus community on Wednesday. Of those, 13 students were then exposed to the virus during mandatory isolation.

A technical error at a third party lab led to the false positives, and they account for what university officials had described as a concerning, rapid increase in positive coronavirus tests, Cal Poly officials told students.

Cal Poly has used Avellino Labs to process coronavirus tests taken by asymptomatic individuals. On Tuesday evening, Avelino Labs informed the university it discovered a technical error in its processing, which led the firm to report 41 false positives.

Of the 41 students, 28 have been cleared to return to normal campus activities. Campus officials moved 13 of the students to individual isolation quarters because it was determined they may have been exposed to other students in isolation who had previously tested positive for the virus. 

The university says it plans to stop working with Avellino Labs and transition to its own in-house testing procedure. 

“As it happens, we have been planning for months to transition away from using Avellino Labs and will be implementing our own in-house saliva testing procedure for all students,” campus officials said.