If you test positive on an at-home test, do you need to report it in PA?


COVID-19 Dashboards

WTAJ – So, you tested positive on that last-minute at-home COVID-19 test, so now what? The Pennsylvania Department of Health wants you to give them a call.

While many Pennsylvanians have gotten calls from the department of health, those are only for PCR tests done by pharmacies or hospitals that send COVID test results to the department of health.

While some states, such as California and New York, might leave it up to the counties to make the call, the state of Pennsylvania requires all positive COVID-19 test results to be reported according to the FAQ page on the Pennsylvania Department of Health website.

With both PCR and at-home or antigen tests hard to come by, if you test positive while using an at-home test, you are the only one that has that information. Because of this, the state would have no record that you tested positive, that’s why they need you to call them.

To report testing positive Pennslyvania residents are to call 1-877-PA-HEALTH. (1-877-724-3258)

When the department of health gives you a call, they generally ask you questions about having close contact with others and if they were notified about you testing positive. They also ask if you are symptomatic and if you are isolating. When you call, similar questions will be asked to further help the department of health and allow them to conduct contact tracing if necessary.

Throughout the country, many at-home tests are not being reported to local health departments or the Center for Disease Control (CDC), which means COVID-19 cases are being underreported.

“We have no idea what the true positivity rate is,” Atul Grover, executive director of the Association of American Medical Colleges, told PBS in December.

If you do test positive, the PA Department of Health lists what to do to protect others here

Alix Martichoux and Nexstar Media Wire contributed to this report.

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