Many Americans have tested positive for COVID-19, including those using at-home test

Jan. 31, 2022

Nearly one-quarter of adults (23%) have tested positive for COVID-19 during the pandemic, including 8% who say they’ve tested positive in the past month, according to the latest COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor report from the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF).

“Among those who tested positive in the past month, 16% say their positive result was on an in-home test only, which is unlikely to be recorded in official COVID-19 case counts. Difficulty accessing COVID-19 tests is likely further contributing to an undercount of cases,” KFF said.

Amid the Omicron surge, many adults (23%) have had difficulty getting tested for COVID-19. About six in ten of those who tried to purchase an at-home COVID-19 test say the tests were difficult to find, and 35% of those who tried to find an in-person test also reported difficulty.

“More broadly, about half of adults say there are not enough COVID-19 tests available in their local area for those who want them. In addition, while about eight in ten are confident the results of COVID-19 tests at a medical facility or testing site are usually accurate, just over half (54%) are similarly confident in the accuracy of home tests,” KFF said.

The foundation said the KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor is an ongoing research project tracking the public’s attitudes and experiences with COVID-19 vaccinations, using a combination of surveys and qualitative research.

Vaccine attitudes

On the topic of vaccines, KFF said “vaccine uptake inched up in January.” A total of 77% say that have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, an increase from 73% in November 2021.

“This movement seems to have come from a chipping away at the shares who say they will get vaccinated right away, will ‘wait and see,’ or will get vaccinated only if required. The share saying they will “definitely not” get vaccinated currently stands at 14% and has not moved in a statistically significant way since December 2020,” KFF said.

In the survey, the foundation also found that about seven in 10 people who are eligible for a booster have gotten the extra dose.

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