Katy urgent care apologizes after COVID-19 test mixup

KATY, Texas – A Sealy woman quarantined in the same room as her father after both received positive test results for COVID-19. A few days later, she learned she had actually tested negative.

“Whenever I found out that the result was not even mine, I was really mad,” said Valeria Garcia, 22.

In a Zoom interview, Garcia said she got tested with her mom and little brother on July 11 at the Next Level Urgent Care on Katy Fort Bend County Road after her father first tested positive. Two days later, she got a text message to check on her lab results.

“I got on there and it said I was positive,” Garcia said.

She joined her father in one room to stay away from the rest of the family.

A few days later, Garcia noticed that the paper results with her name on the top had someone else’s date of birth and acquisition, or appointment date. When she called the clinic, she said she was told those were someone else’s results and that her results were actually negative.

Now, she’s concerned she may have unnecessarily exposed herself to the virus.

“If we’re going to be around my dad, that means we have exposure,” Garcia said.

Next Level management said in a statement, in part, “We are extremely sorry that a clerical error by a temporary worker caused a patient to receive a result that was not hers. We have tested over 50,000 Houstonians and have not encountered another issue like this.”

The company said it has put additional safeguards in place to avoid any other incident from happening.

Garcia’s advice for other people: “Just take a closer look at your results and hopefully nobody in the other urgent cares or hospitals are making the same error.”

Garcia said she has had some headaches and nausea and got tested again last Friday. She’s hoping to obtain the results of the new test later this week.