Professor: Millions Of At-Home COVID Tests Leading To Underreporting

Arizona State University professor Mara Aspinall says there's no organized way for people to report the results of their at-home tests.
Posted at 8:41 AM, Jan 05, 2022

With the latest spike in COVID-19 cases in the U.S., health officials believe the number of cases is still underreported.

As testing demand continues to rise, an Arizona State University expert in biomedical diagnostics estimates there are at least 4 million home tests and other rapid tests that aren't reported each day. However, it's unclear how many of those tests are positive.

ASU professor Mara Aspinall says reporting those results relies on an honor system for each person to report it themselves.

"For the home tests, there is no organized and formal and required way to report those tests," she said. "Today, unfortunately, there is no way to definitively know how many of those at-home tests are positive. We are likely catching some of them."

It's believed some people report results to their primary care physician, who then notifies the local county health department.

"Probably 50% of people who have primary care physicians report [test results] to their primary care physician," Aspinall said. "That is a best-case estimate."

Some states do not have a system in place for self-reporting results of at-home tests.