MIAMI VALLEY, Ohio (WDTN) – Health officials say they’ve seen an increase in interest for COVID-19 tests leading up to Thanksgiving. Now it’s too late to get tested for COVID-19 without a rapid test if a person plans to travel by Thursday.
Premiere Health Regional Medical Director Dr. Joseph Allen said a negative covid-19 test isn’t a guarantee you won’t bring coronavirus to thanksgiving dinner.
“Those are only good for the point and time you took them,” Allen said. “After that, you could walk out of my office after we tested you, go to Kroger, get exposed there, then get exposed and show up to the family gathering.”
Allen said that Premiere Health has an adequate number of tests to test anyone who wants one, but because of the demand, labs processing the tests may be delayed, so results could take two to three days or even longer.
Clark County Health commissioner Charles Patterson said if you got tested because you may have been exposed to the virus, and are still waiting on those results, stay home.
“The CDC recommends that if you’re going about getting a test back for COVID-19, you should quarantine yourself until you get those test results back,” Patterson said. “That becomes even more problematic when it’s 4, 5, 6 days before you get those test results back.”
Patterson said Clark County is struggling to keep up with the demand for testing and many of the county’s test sides are fully booked.
While the recommendation from the CDC is to avoid family gatherings and travel this year, if you do find out you were exposed to COVID-19 on Thanksgiving, Allen said to wait to get tested a few days for the most accurate results because of the virus’ incubation time.
“You want to wait until Monday or Tuesday, you want to self-quarantine until that time, and you want to wait to give it that 3 to 5 days to get tested,” Allen said.
Both Premiere Health and Clark County Combined Health District do expect there will be even more demand for testing after Thanksgiving and are preparing to make more testing available.