Confusion over test results in Sauk Co.

People say they have gotten letters with positive test results - without being tested.
Published: Jul. 15, 2020 at 5:41 PM CDT
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SAUK COUNTY, Wis. (WMTV) - There has been some confusion regarding COVID-19 test results in Sauk County. Some NBC15 viewers reported people getting positive results in the mail - without ever being tested.

NBC15 spoke to the Sauk County Health Department about how they notify people about COVID-19 test results. Health officials said they never send a letter for a positive COVID-19 test result unless specifically requested by a patient.

“There have been some situations where patients want their positive result mailed to them, but again, that’s going to be a request that comes to us from that client, and we go through a lot of verification to make sure we’ve got the right person and the right address and that sort of thing,” explained Jessie Phalen, public health nurse manager at the Sauk Co. Health Department.

Even for a negative result, staff at the health department will make several attempts to contact each person over the phone. If they cannot reach someone after several tries, they would send out a negative result in the mail - but not a positive.

“We always pick up the phone if there is a positive result. We will reach out and call, identifying ourselves and the department we’re calling from and then share that information once we’ve established we’ve got the right person on the line,” Phelan confirmed.

Sauk County officials also confirmed they are aware of at least one incident where someone was called in the middle of the night about a false positive result.

If you get a letter or call with test results, and you have not been tested, contact your local health department.

To find out where you can get tested in Sauk County, use this test site locator.

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