COVID Update

Department of Health announces updated at-home COVID-19 testing guidance

The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) has announced updated guidance around COVID-19 at-home testing, including changes to how self-testing results should be reported and additional information about COVID-19 treatment. The full guidance is available on the DOH website.
As part of the guidance update, Washingtonians are now being asked to report all positive at-home test results through the Say Yes! COVID Test Digital Assistant, even if those testing kits were not obtained through the Say Yes! COVID Test (SYCT) program. Previously, those wishing to report positive test results were instructed to contact the Washington State DOH COVID-19 Hotline. While the hotline will remain in service, its primary focus is being shifted to Care Connect Services that provide additional support for those in need who have recently tested positive.
While the White House recently announced a pause to the federal program that previously provided free at-home COVID-19 tests, the Say Yes! COVID Test program continues to offer up to 10 free tests to Washington households each month on a first-come, first-serve basis. The Say Yes! COVID Test program recently celebrated surpassing 10 million tests distributed throughout the state since the program’s inception in January 2022. New allocations of tests are available at the beginning of each month and can be ordered on the Say Yes! COVID Home Test website.
“The widespread availability and use of rapid home tests helped Washingtonians take swift action to seek treatment for themselves and protect others from infection in the wake of more transmissible COVID-19 subvariants,” said Lacy Fehrenbach, Chief of Prevention, Safety, and Health. “We encourage every family to have at-home tests on hand with the start of school and approaching fall respiratory virus season. By reporting results through the SYCT digital assistant, Washingtonians can help public health understand the burden and trajectory of infections in Washington state.”
Washington residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 and are in need of assistance with isolation, such as food, personal care kits, or other needs, can still contact the WA DOH COVID-19 Hotline at 1-800-525-0127 to report positive test result and ask to speak with Care Connect, or reach out to a Care Connect hub. Those not in need of additional assistance should proceed with reporting positive cases via the SYCT portal.
Editors'Note: The above was sent to The JOLT on  September 9, 2022.


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