"COVID home tests are accurate, but people should follow directions," said Dr. Peter Chin-Hong with UCSF.
He says at home COVID tests can help identify positive tests fast, but sometimes not everyone reports the results. Unlike getting tested at a certain location, at-home tests make it hard for health officials to track who has a negative and positive test. There is no supervision, so there is no immediate reporting to a government agency.
"We are seeing COVID trends going down in the Bay Area, but are they really going down? Or are they just buying a test at CVS or Walgreens and not telling anyone?" Dr. Chin-Hong said.
He says if anyone is planning on taking an at-home COVID test to tell a doctor whether it is a negative test or a positive test. He says doing so can help health officials get a clearer idea of the current trends relating to COVID-19.
"Telling a doctor or someone is the first step," he said. "The most important thing is that a health agency can also help with contact tracing."