Floridians not required to report at-home COVID test results, state health department says

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – It has never been easier to get your hands on an at-home COVID-19 test.

We all know by know, if you test positive, you should isolate and take precautions.

But do you need to report those results? The short answer is not really.

If you go to the Florida Department of Health website, there are plenty of COVID-19 resources — from locations of testing centers to guidelines if you test positive. But what you won’t find is somewhere to report if you test positive That’s because, according to the state Department of Health, it does “not require Floridians report at-home test results.”

If you go to a COVID-19 testing site, those results are used in official data. But, with more access than ever to at-home COVID-19 tests, there are concerns that people who are testing positive at home are not reporting those results, which is why we may be seeing lower numbers.

“I certainly think there could be some truth to that, particularly when we have a lot of cases,” said Chad Neilsen, UF Health Jacksonville director of accreditation and infection prevention.

But Neilsen says, right now, that’s not the case, as COVID-19 numbers reported by clinics and doctor’s offices are down.

“Of the numbers that are being very closely watched, cases are still falling, there may be some truth that people are testing at home and not getting captured,” Neilsen said. “But in the hospitals, we’re seeing reduced caseloads and positives.”

Neilsen explains, if there was an influx of people testing positive at home, then there would likely be an increase in hospital admissions. But he says they’re just not seeing that.

And it’s not just Florida that isn’t requesting at-home test results. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the public health community, including CDC, is confident that situational awareness remains strong without receiving self-test results.

Did you take an at-home COVID-19 test and test positive? If so, did you report your results to the health department?

We want to hear from you. You can leave your response in our questionnaire below: