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Positive at-home COVID test results not included in state’s daily report

At-home COVID-19 tests have become the preferred testing method for many, but those who receive positive test results at home will not have their data included in the state’s daily COVID figures.

A total of 70 million at-home COVID test kits have been distributed across New York, announced Governor Kathy Hochul last week. The results of those tests are not taken into account for the state’s positivity rate, something that was revealed when the state Department of Health (DOH) began including two positivity rates for Central New York in their daily tracking, according to The Citizen. Onondaga County had recently begun including their at-home positive results in data reported to the state, but the practice has since ceased to avoid confusion.

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Self-administered tests are not reported to the Electronic Clinical Laboratory Reporting System (ECLRS)- the database used by the state to track positive COVID tests- because at-home tests are conducted by individuals instead of testing providers or laboratories, according to the DOH.

Cayuga County recently began tracking positive at-home test results in a separate state database called CommCare. While this information does not populate into ECLRS, the county uses it in their updates released on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of every week.