CALUMET COUNTY, Wis. (WFRV)-What should you do if you get a positive COVID-19 test result?
According to health officials, you should report the result, whether you test positive or negative, even though it isn’t mandatory.
“I would highly recommend it because then your healthcare providers have record of it in case you have to go for anything else they have that heads up on it,” says Bonnie Kolbe who is the Health Officer for the Calumet County Health Department.
At-home COVID-19 tests have become popular because of their convenience and the quick turnaround for getting results back. But not everybody is reporting their positive results, creating a challenge for health officials.
“Of course we know those cases won’t be necessarily reported to public health so we’re potentially having more cases than the DHS numbers even reflect,” says Traci DeSalvo who is the Director of the Bureau of Communicable Diseases at Wisconsin’s DHS.
Health officials say that if you get a positive result you should contact your primary care doctor or your local health department. They will be able to help answer your questions about your symptoms and provide you with answers about best practices for isolating.
Health officials advise staying home and monitoring your symptoms if you test positive.
Health officials say it’s important to get a PCR test after getting a positive COVID-19 at-home test because the PCR test is more accurate and can confirm the at-home test result.
Wisconsin’s Department of Health Services says COVID-19 test results are most accurate when you are tested by a health care provider or at a community testing site. Unlike the at-home test, results done by health care providers and at community testing sites are automatically reported.
“It’s important for us (to have results reported) from a surveillance perspective knowing where it’s at and where we need to direct our education and our guidance to,” says Kolbe.
Kolbe says these at-home test results aren’t included in the daily COVID-19 numbers that you see on Wisconsin DHS’s website.
The recommendations from health officials to report your COVID-19 test results come as hospitals statewide are reporting that 91 percent of their beds are in use right now.
Kolbe says in Calumet County there is a 62 percent positivity rate on completed tests.