NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - The Commissioner of the Department of Health is taking responsibility for contact tracers incorrectly identifying 300 Tennesseans as having COVID-19.

News4 Investigates first exposed the problem and Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercy answered questions on Tuesday.

Piercey said the coding error happened under her watch as commissioner, an error that led to at least one mane being told he had COVID-19 when he had never even been tested.

News4 Investigates found Brock Ballou, who lives in Mount Juliet, was told repeatedly by third-party contact tracers hired by the state that he was in their system as a positive COVID-19 cases. However, he had never been tested.

The Department of Health confirmed on Monday because of a coding error, contact tracers were given the wrong script to read to people asking them about their positive COVID-19 symptoms.

While the commissioner continues to say no one was told they had tested positive – Ballou disputes that, saying he was told that repeatedly.

“I don’t know where the coding error was, but ultimately, quite frankly, I’m the commissioner of the department and I take responsibility for anything that happens in the department,” Piercy said Tuesday.

The commissioner said the error was discovered and fixed within 24 hours.

The Department of Health also continues to say that this does not mean the number of cases reported each day is flawed.

Previous coverage

Mt. Juliet man says even with no test, he’s informed he is COVID-19 positive by state
State confirms 300 people incorrectly traced as positive COVID 19 cases

Chief Investigative Reporter

Jeremy Finley is the chief investigator for News4 Investigates. His reporting has resulted in criminal convictions, legislative hearings before the U.S. Congress, and the payout of more than a million dollars to scam victims.

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