OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — The Douglas County Health Department reported 819 new COVID cases in the community between Thursday evening and Monday night.
These cases are reported specifically from testing sites, provider offices and hospitals. But Douglas County Health told us their reports can't include at-home test results.
Nebraska Medicine Dr. James Lawler said it is and has been concerning.
"We have been concerned for a while that our case counts really are not capturing the majority of cases out there," said Lawler.
The Douglas County Health Department said they cannot include at-home test results in their reports because they cannot be confirmed.
"The true case count, the true burden in the community is much higher than what the number indicates and we are probably seeing case rates similar to what we have seen in other large epidemic waves, even now," said Lawler.
And he said the county report still gives an idea of what the prevalence looks like in the community, but he also said what we are looking at now is a high positivity rate.
"Of the PCR tests that are given, how many are positive, we are at a pretty large percentage, close to 20% of those tests are coming back positive," Lawler said.
If you are using at-home tests from the government, you might see they are expiring soon.
The manufacturer said on its website that for tests marked as "used by" or "before September 29, 2022," they are good for another 3 months.
You can check your new expiration date using the lot number, located on the back of the box, at the iHealth website.
And if you are looking for a free COVID test, there are still several places offering free testing and you can pick up free at-home tests at the county health department and public libraries.
Lawler said we're also seeing an increase in hospitalizations and he encourages everyone to get vaccinated and boosted if eligible.