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Stark and Henry County asking residents to report positive at-home test results

At-home COVID test
At-home COVID test(WBNG 12 News)
Published: Jan. 7, 2022 at 9:46 PM CST
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STARK AND HENRY Co., Ill. (KWQC) - There’s a new effort to track the Coronavirus in the QCA as cases rise both here and nationwide. The Henry and Stark County Health Department is now asking residents who test positive with an at-home test to report those results. This comes as both counties are seeing record-high case counts and have a 19% positivity rate as of Friday.

“We’ve seen transmission rates surging. Our numbers are very much higher than they have been,” says RaeAnn Tucker, the Director of Health Promotion for the Henry and Stark County Health Department.

At-home tests have been rising in popularity in recent weeks, and will only continue to grow, estimates Tucker. Having hundreds, if not thousands, of people test at home is making it more difficult for health departments to know how their county is handling the ongoing pandemic since at-home results usually are not reported.

“A lot of people that are already taking these home tests are saying, what do we do with the results? Especially if they’re testing positive.”

RaeAnn Tucker, the Director of Health Promotion for the Henry and Stark County Health Department

The Henry and Stark County Health Department launched a portal that will allow you to input your information when you tested positive, and let you know how to keep yourself and others safe. “They’re actually given the latest isolation guidance and quarantine guidance right away. They don’t have to wait around for a call. They just report this. And this way we really think that it’s going to help streamline isolations and quarantine, give people the information they need and want and probably get them back to their normal activities a little bit quicker in the process,” says Tucker.

Tucker says they created the website for self-reporting because residents, particularly in the education sector, asked for it. She says reporting, however, is completely voluntary and secure. “This is what we felt would be the best way to educate our population that is currently in a surge. People are looking at greater numbers and they’re asking more questions. What that’s going to do and how this is going to flesh out over the weeks. Again, with the pandemic, we’re just going to see how it goes.”

The website will also reportedly help with contact tracing, as it asks who you might have come in contact with before your positive test. Tucker describes the quarantine and isolation process as “much more streamlined. They’ll probably get more information. A lot of times people who duck the contact tracing end up having to do more later on because they weren’t forthcoming. Honesty is always the best policy and those people that are participating in the portal, and we’ve actually been quite pleased just in the last couple of days that we’ve actually had the portal live.”

You can report your positive case at HenryStarkHealth.com. If you prefer in-person tests, those are available at the health department Monday through Friday or with your healthcare provider.

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