MARIN, Calif. (KRON) – Millions of Americans will soon receive at-home COVID-19 test kits thanks to the federal government but will the results make it into the hands of health leaders who need it most.
Marin County is making it easier to report your results.
Finding an appointment for a COVID-19 test during this latest surge has been tough, prompting many Americans to turn to at-home tests to learn if they are infected.
But once you know the answers, what to do with the results isn’t as clear cut.
“I think Marin Public Health is just always trying to find the best way to simplify a process for our community,” Marimar Ochoa said.
Marin County health leaders have made it easy for the information to get directly to them.
In October, the county launched a self-reporting website where people can upload the results of at-home tests.
In that time, the county has received 50,000 reports, including 2,000 positive reports.
“In creating these forms we allowed the residents to have some level of responsibility in reporting,” Ochoa said.
Marimar Ochoa is with the county and says the information has allowed them to focus on areas of need.
“This self-report test, this self-report form has facilitated the county’s outreach, and being able to focus in the areas that we’re seeing the highest rates,” Ochoa said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention doesn’t require people to report the results of at-home tests but the information is critical to local counties, in order to have accurate case counts.
Reporting the results simply depends on where you live.
With no uniformed mandates or guidelines, it’s up to each individual county to implement its own requirements for reporting at-home test results.
Some may not have any guidelines at all.
KRON4 reached out to the remaining eight Bay Area counties to learn what the protocols are.
In San Francisco, people are expected to report results of at-home tests to primary physicians, who are then expected to report it to county health leaders.
Marin County says it’s all about providing options.
“The data as we’ve seen since the beginning of the pandemic has been crucial to us acknowledging gaps in response to COVID-19,” Ochoa said.
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