As the Omicron variant continues to spread across the country, more Americans are turning to at-home COVID-19 tests to see if they're infected.

The Midland County Department of Public Health is not gathering stats of residents who test positive for COVID-19 while at home.

"We are actually not collecting that information at this time," said Medical director Catherine Bodnar.

Bodnar said a steep rise in COVID-19 cases coupled with diminishing public participation in contact tracing, has forced them to shift gears.

"The focus is not on individual-level case investigation. But instead on high priority, community, and congregate settings," Bodnar said.

In Genesee County, health officer Kayleigh Blaney said positive at-home COVID-19 test results are not reported to her agency.

"The instructions for how to report are typically included with the test. A lot of the testing companies have websites that those are reported to, which are reported by the local health departments. Some have QR codes. So, we would advise people to report them however the test that you purchased indicates that you report any positive results," Blaney said.

Both Blaney and Bodnar said regardless of how many documented positive COVID-19 tests are out there, they don't paint the full picture of how much COVID-19 is in our community.

"Our positivity rate in Genesee County right now is almost at 40 percent. So, we know that there are a significant number of cases that are going undetected," Blaney said.

"Basically, COVID-19 is everywhere right now. And people need to take precautions regardless of their vaccination status," Bodnar said.

Copyright 2022 WNEM. All rights reserved.

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