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The New York Times Beijing eases Covid measures as fears of another outbreak persist.

The New York Times Beijing eases Covid measures as fears of another outbreak persist.

So you received a positive result in your home test for Covid-19. What will you do next? In addition to everything else on your plate – quarantining and notifying close contacts, taking time off work, and rescheduling appointments – you should report your test results.

And while home tests make it easier and quicker to screen yourself and get treatment, reporting an illness isn’t always easy. This confusion has meant that many cases are excluded from the official count.

If you test positive at a clinic or other community testing site, those results must be reported to public health departments under the CARES Act. Certain home tests performed under the supervision of a trained telemedicine provider were also reported to government health officials. But if your quick test doesn’t fall into one of these categories, you might not be sure what to do.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention”strongly recommended“All people test themselves to report their positive results to a healthcare provider, who can order PCR testing or report data to a public agency. But only a handful of state health departments, including in Colorado and Washington, collect data from home screenings. Others, like Massachusetts and New York, allow individual county health departments to decide if they want to collect test results at home.

As a result, the official case count is becoming an increasingly unreliable measure about the actual number of viruses. In New York City, for example, at the height of the Omicron wave, officials recorded more than 538,000 new cases between January and mid-March. But a survey of adults in New York City indicated that there could have been more than 1.3 million more cases that were never detected or never reported during that time.

Health experts fear that public reporting of at-home testing is too sporadic and unpredictable.

Dr Robert Wachter, chair of the faculty of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, said: “We need to better understand the amount of Covid in communities as people and organizations try to plan their behavior. “For example, when I decide whether to eat in the house or not, I don’t care about the number of hospitalizations. I want to know the chance that my waiter or tablemate has Covid. ”

But reporting relies on people having access to home tests in the first place, which could put people in underserved communities at a disadvantage. Data released by the CDC in April shows that at-home testing is most common among people young, white, highly educated and rich.

Even among those with access to testing at home, said John Brownstein, epidemiologist and director of innovation at Boston Children’s Hospital who led a recent CDC study on the use of home testing. At home, some people may be worried about volunteering to give out personal information to local health authorities. Others may be too sick or overwhelmed to deal with the administrative burden of calling, emailing, or finding another way and when to report their test results.

Developing easy, standardized reporting systems for at-home tests could help solve part of the problem, says Dr. Brownstein. And the information gathered from at-home trials could allow researchers to better calculate the Covid index even without equal public participation.

“You don’t need each person reporting their home test for the data to be valid,” says Dr. Brownstein. “You have to understand how representative the sample is and make the appropriate adjustments.” By combining the test’s positive data with other indicators, such as case rates, wastewater information and community demographics, scientists can better understand about the changing ways in which the virus is transmitted and support continued prevention efforts.

Given the importance of tracking case numbers, here are four easy ways you can report a positive test result at home.

Use the test’s mobile app.

Some quick test kits, like the BinaxNOW, iHealth, and Lucira suites, include a way to report your results through a mobile app, often with video tutorials on how to use the tests. test.

Last year, a testing program run by the CDC and the National Institutes of Health distributed more than 1.4 million home tests to households in Tennessee and Michigan and found that, while reporting overall test is low and less than 10,000 test results are recorded in the companion app. , people who have used the application have more likely to report their test results to public health agencies in both states. About 75% of app users in Tennessee reported their results, and 84% in Michigan reported their results.

Share the results with your doctor.

If you test positive at home, another way to report your results is to contact your primary care provider, which is what the CDC recommends you do.

When calling or emailing your doctor, make sure you’re ready to share some key details: the type of test you had, when you had it, the date you started experiencing symptoms, and your condition. your vaccination status.

Your doctor may recommend a PCR test to confirm, and may provide a medical report to help keep you off work or school. Your doctor can also help you Watch for new or related symptomsgive advice about antiretroviral therapy and allow you to return to work after you have fully recovered.

Contact your local health department.

Many local public health departments have ways for people to report their results online, although their methods of collecting test data often vary from region to region. You can find your health department’s website and information through Directory of the National Association of County and Municipal Health Officials.

Some reporting methods are very simple, such as the method in Marin County, Calif., There is a simple online form to report results. Residents of the County of St. Louis, Mo., maybe Call, email or submit their results online. In Washington, DC, you can use Iphone or Android application, in addition to the application of the Ministry of Health self-report web portal.

Other websites of the Ministry of Health are confusingly famous to navigate or even understand. For example, the New York State Covid-19 resource page states that residents not required to report their test results. A representative for the Department of Health said that this was because New York had only used results from official labs or testing providers “to analyze trends and report data consistently to the public.” “since the beginning of the pandemic. But some counties in New York, like Albany County and Tompkins . Countyallows reporting of home test results, separate from data collected by the state.

Engage in community sourcing.

Although a national home testing monitoring website does not exist, researchers from Dr Brownstein’s team have developed a platform for the community sourcing of home test results called OutbreaksNearMe.org it’s pretty intuitive to use.

Originally designed to track flu outbreaks, the site has expanded to help map and analyze Covid-19 case data submitted by volunteers. The site shares information with the CDC and local public health agencies and makes the information available to the public, Dr. Brownstein said.

Dr Brownstein said: “Home tests represent a huge shift in how quickly people can identify an infection, get care and access treatments. how to treat. “They’re going to be the core way to deliver healthcare going forward, so we need to make sure that we in the public health arena keep our testing data up to date.”

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Teja
Teja
I am passionate about journalism and using new technology to spread news. I am also interested in politics and economics, and I am always looking for ways to make a difference in the world. I am the CEO of Janaseva News, and I am 24 years old.
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