But some positive results are going unseen - News 11's Cody Lee reports
YUMA, Arizona (KYMA, KECY) - High COVID-19 cases are being reported in both Yuma and Imperial counties Wednesday. The counties are both showing high positivity rates also.
This means currently about three out of every 10 locals getting tested in Yuma are COVID positive.
That’s a jump we haven’t seen since this time last year.
The high positivity rate really reflects the increase in testing and just how many people are testing positive. It has been increasing since the middle of December.
“31% of all tests are coming back positive and that is a high compared to what we were seeing back in July, where our positivity rate was coming in around 6%,” said Diana Gomez, Yuma County public health director.
Since last week, many of them have now been confirmed as the Omicron variant out of those sent for further analysis.
“As we're getting more reports back, we're seeing higher numbers of those percentages of tests come back positive for the Omicron variant. So we know that there's a higher prevalence now,” she explained.
But what about positive cases that aren’t reported.
“A lot of times the only reason people get tested is that they have symptoms. So we expect that even though we're reporting a high number, the number is probably underreported the number of actual cases is actually higher because a lot of people are asymptomatic or aren't going to go get tested until they have those symptoms," Gomez said.
Other positive results go unreported using an at-home rapid test kit.
“There is no requirement to report those and there's no formal mechanism to report those," she admitted.
Her advice, reach out to your healthcare provider and don’t wait.
“There are certain therapies, like for example, monoclonal antibody therapy or some of the antiviral pills that just got approved [can only be administered] early in the infectious period.”
If you test negative on a take-home test, while showing symptoms of COVID, you should think about re-testing using a PCR test.
Here’s why, “it's a higher likelihood actually, that with those take-home tests because they're antigen tests that you'll get a false negative. So if you're symptomatic and that test is showing up negative, you should go in and get a confirmatory PCR test. We just want people to err on the side of caution,” Gomez explained.
I did get a chance to speak with the ADHS emergency preparedness director Monday. Her team among other doctors we’ve been speaking to expect cases to peak in a week or two.
She says that’s based on trends they’re seeing across the country.