GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. — One last push to get tested for COVID-19 before Thanksgiving is underway.
Thousands of people across the Triad have already been tested for coronavirus just this week.
“There’s a very big increase in demand for testing,” said Dr. David Thompson, administrator for the Regional Center of Infectious Disease.
A two hour wait and a line wrapped around the parking lot as people rushed to get tested for COVID-19 before spending time with family this Thanksgiving.
Dr. Thompson oversees all of Cone Health’s COVID-19 testing sites and tells FOX8 just in the last two days, they’ve tested close to 1,700 people.
“Some people think ‘I get a negative result. I’m free and clear.’ Well it’s free and clear from the time you got that result,” Dr. Thompson explained.
Dr. Thompson echoes the warnings of state health officials who recommend treating a negative result like a positive.
“A test is only one moment in time. Tests are not perfect, and you could be exposed in the time after you got the test. Even if you have a negative test, you must still wear a mask and stay six feet apart,” said Dr. Mandy Cohen, secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.
That’s a reality that has been front and center in Allan Kuylen’s mind. He’ll be visiting older family members and his 14-month-old nephew this week. He took advantage of the testing site at Triad Behavioral Resources.
“We just want to make sure everyone’s being safe and that we know just for the holidays as things are starting to ramp up. We just want to be safe and make sure that we have the best idea possible of who has what,” Kuylen said.
When it comes to getting tested after the holiday weekend, health experts suggest waiting five days after visiting with family.
If you do come into contact with someone who has COVID-19 and get tested right away, you’ll likely receive a negative result because it takes a few days for the virus to present itself.
“The coming weeks will be a true test of our resolve to do what it takes to keep people from getting sick, to save lives and to make sure you have hospital care for whether it’s a heart attack, a car accident or COVID-19 when you need it,” Dr. Cohen concluded.