Lack of test kits leads to low number confirmed COVID-19 cases in Rock County

JANESVILLE, Wis. – Health officials in Rock County say a lack of COVID-19 testing kits has made it difficult to accurately portray the current number of cases in the county.

Currently, the number of kits available fluctuates each day, says physician Danielle Mitchell of SSM Health in Janesville.

“Right now with the shortage going on, we’re really having to make judicious decisions about who we should be testing and not testing,” she said.

Because of the shortage in kits, Mitchell says the hospital will turn away some people with mild symptoms, encouraging them to self-quarantine at home.

“If you’re mild presentation, we’re asking you if you’re comfortable and medically stable, to stay home. Because as everyone is well aware of, there is a national shortage going on in regards to supplies of testing kits,” she said.

Mitchell says because Rock County has only seen one case, some might think the virus isn’t prevalent. This is not true.

“Don’t go out in public right now if you can help it,” she said. “Keep your travel to a bare minimum.”

Mitchell says in the future, she’s hopeful Wisconsin can gain access to more testing kits. In the meantime, she says it’s best to follow standard practices and procedures such as hand washing, social distancing, and staying home if you’re sick.