Objective To investigate the false negative rate of throat swab nucleic acid test of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and to analyze the causes, so as to provide references for the prevention and control of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in China. Methods A retrospective analysis was conducted on the throat swab nucleic acid test results of 1 452 COVID-19 patients admitted to Guanggu Branch of Maternity and Child Healthcare Hospital of Hubei Province from Feb. 19 to Mar. 20, 2020. The negative results before positive results at discharge were judged as false negative results, and the false negative rate was calculated. The discharged patients were followed up to screen for the patients who were positive for nucleic acid test again, and the relationship between the times of consecutive negative nucleic acid tests before discharge and the positive again results was analyzed. Results Among the 1 452 COVID-19 patients, 592 (40.77%) were males and 860 (59.23%) were females. A total of 212 cases (14.60%) had false negative results. Twenty-eight cases (1.93%) were discovered nucleic acid positive again after discharge. Among the 918 patients whose nucleic acid tests were negative for two consecutive times, 24 (2.61%) were positive again, which was significantly higher than that of the patients whose nucleic acid tests were negative for three consecutive times (0.75%, 4/534;χ2=6.21, P=0.012 7). Conclusion The throat swab nucleic acid test of SARS-CoV-2 has a certain proportion of false negative results, which is one of the reasons for COVID-19 patients are found nucleic acid positive again after discharge. Multiple and continuous tests by different testers are recommended before discharge, and negative nucleic acid test for three or more consecutive times can reduce the incidence of nucleic acid positive results again after discharge.