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Health experts encourage certain people to get tested for COVID-19 after Thanksgiving gatherings

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Posted at 7:52 AM, Nov 30, 2021

TAMPA, Fla. — Right before the Thanksgiving holiday, researchers started noticing a slight uptick in COVID-19 cases.

“It wouldn’t surprise me as a result of the holidays that we’re going to start to see a bit of a surge moving forward,” said Dr. Thomas Unnasch, Distinguished Professor for USF Health.

Officials are watching COVID-19 cases closely and they’re asking people to do everything they can to limit spread after the Thanksgiving holiday.

“It’s probably worth them getting tested,” said Unnasch.

This is especially important if you socialized with people who are unvaccinated, or not fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Unnasch recommends you start testing about three or four days after your gathering.

“Then test every other day from there up to until maybe 10 days out,” said Unnasch.

You can visit county testing sites, pharmacies, a doctor’s office, or experts recommend buying rapid antigen home tests.

Millions of home tests are hitting the store shelves as test makers ramped up production to meet the demand.

“They’re not perfect but they are certainly good enough for sort of self-monitoring in those sorts of situations,” said Unnasch.

White House officials say the U.S. is on track to have about 200 million home tests per month by December.

They can help quickly catch infections before they spread as holiday gatherings begin sparking new COVID-19 outbreaks across the country.

Some doctors say it’s worth getting tested if you don’t have any symptoms just in case you’re asymptomatic.

“If you’re negative I wouldn’t worry about it I would resume my normal life and do everything I normally do,” said Unnasch.

This is all to limit the surge we’re likely to see in the coming weeks of both COVID-19 and the flu.

Experts hope vaccines will help keep the spike limited. They’re just worried enough people haven’t been vaccinated yet.

“There is a surge that’s happening in Europe now that’s pretty bad actually and there is a surge that’s happening in many of the northern states as people start to go indoors,” said Unnasch.