CINCINNATI — The Cincinnati Health Department is encouraging people to self-report positive results from at-home COVID-19 antigen tests.
Last month, the health department launched a website where people can submit their positive results. People can also call the health department directly or scan a QR code on the health department’s website to report.
“The idea is to be hooked up to contact tracing so you know exactly how long to self isolate and for other advice,” said Dr. Grant Mussman, Cincinnati Health Department's medical director.
Mussman said there are other benefits to self-reporting, too.
“One place where it can be very important is with employers,” Mussman said. “Employers may require some kind of documentation or a letter from the health department saying when you’re out or when you can return.”
Last week, Gov. Mike DeWine acknowledged most at-home rapid tests are not being reported.
“We know that a lot of the quick tests people are buying, they are not reporting,” said DeWine.
The governor said rapid tests are more about getting people instant information they can use rather than providing information for the government to track.
“We felt, and this wasn’t even a close call, that even when people are not reporting, letting them have that information themselves so they can make rational choices themselves and with that piece of information is very, very important,” he said.
Ohio Department of Health's Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff agreed.
“That’s more important than us being able to capture the results of each and every test for a population surveillance perspective,” Vanderhoff said during a press conference last week.
Right now, at-home antigen tests remain in high demand. Cincinnati and Hamilton County libraries are out of stock, as well as local YMCAs. A spokesperson for Hamilton County Public Health said the agency is not currently tracking the results of at-home tests.
To self-report a positive test to the Cincinnati Health Department, visit https://redcap.link/HomeTests