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Public encouraged to report at-home COVID-19 test results to paint better picture of where communities stand

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MADISON (WKOW) -- With the number of COVID-19 cases rising, so are sales of at-home COVID-19 tests. Those offer a convenient way to check your COVID-19 status, but not necessarily a convenient way to report it. Because of this, cases in Wisconsin could be much higher than we think.

"There's always going to be more cases than are reported," Morgan Finke, Communications Coordinator for Public Health Madison & Dane County said. "But, what we don't know is and what the million dollar question is... is to what degree that's true. And the answer to that could vary significantly from one community to another."

Right now, the seven-day average of cases reported each day in Dane County is 263. To give health officials a better picture of where COVID-19 cases stand and help with contact tracing efforts, however, Finke said people should report the results of their at-home test to their local health department.

"If you do get that positive test, then you know that you are encouraged to stay home obviously for five days and then mask if you leave again, five days after that. So, there are those specific guidelines and recommendations that people can take and we wouldn't be able to know that unless we did that contact tracing," Finke said.

You can report your COVID-19 status here. It takes less than five minutes.