Jan 20, 2022 - COVID

Metro won't track at-home COVID tests

An at-home COVID swab casting a shadow in the shape of a question mark.

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

The Metro Department of Health does not plan to begin including at-home COVID test results in its log of case counts, a department spokesperson tells Axios.

  • The Biden administration yesterday began taking orders for free, at-home rapid tests sent to residents after announcing the purchase of 500 million test kits last week.

Why it matters: This decision could skew understanding of the virus' prevalence in Nashville.

Driving the news: Health spokesperson Brian Todd says the city will not count test results from at-home kits because "they do not meet confirmed or probable case definition."

  • "This is a national definition that we do not simply decide to opt into," Todd says. "These tests fit the (suspected) case definition but these cases are not counted in official case counts."

Yes, but: Other cities have a different approach. Axios D.C. reporter Cuneyt Dil reports that D.C. urges all residents who use a rapid test kit at home to report positive or negative results to an online portal.

  • But positive results from at-home tests are defined as "probable cases" and excluded from the city's daily case count. D.C. officials said the city doesn't have the same confidence in self-reported results compared to test results from a lab.

What's next: Residents can now order four rapid antigen test kits per household through the U.S. Postal Service website.


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