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UW Health doctor stresses importance of reporting at-home COVID-19 tests

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Reporting At-Home COVID Tests

MADISON (WKOW) — With at-home COVID-19 tests becoming more and more popular, health officials want to make sure they are being used effectively.

Health officials say it is important to report the results of an at-home test to a doctor or health care provider, whether they are positive or negative.

"There's a whole cascade of events that follows a positive test, which you are aware of if you do it through other entities that do testing, but when you're at home alone with your test, then that cascade doesn't happen until you report it,” said UW Health Medical Director for Infection Prevention Dr. Nasia Safdar.

Safdar says it's also important to report the results so that health officials have a good idea how case numbers are within the community.

“I think practically speaking what's happening is likely that some people are and some aren't, and so whatever the case number today is, that's almost certainly an underestimate of what the true case count is around us,” said Safdar.

Safdar says while cases are likely being underreported, she wasn't able to say by how much at this point because it isn't known how many people have bought and used the at-home tests.

Depending on the result of an at-home test, another may be required from a health care provider or a community testing site.

More information about at-home tests from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services is available here.