People across the country are rushing to get COVID tests before Thanksgiving with the hope they won't bring the virus to dinner. But metro health care providers stress -- negative test results may not keep your family safe.
“Our seven-day rolling average over the past 14 days is now at 3,002 new cases ever day in the state of Oklahoma,” said Dr. Dale Bratzler, OU health’s Chief COVID-19 Officer.
COVID-19 cases have grown exponentially over the past few weeks and metro doctors have worked to get out their final warnings ahead of the holiday.
“If you really wanted to be sure you were doing what you could it would be to quarantine for 14 days,” said Dr. Eddie Withers, OCCHD’s Epidemiologist. “Obviously Thanksgiving is on Thursday, so not happening.”
Some people may think getting tested the day of or the day before Thanksgiving with a negative result means you’re good to go. But doctors said that line of thinking really only gives a false sense of security.
“The type of test that you get makes a difference when you get the test and just remember a negative test tells you that you are negative for shedding the virus that day,” said Dr. Bratlzer. “It doesn’t mean in two days from now you might not be shedding the virus.”
Health officials said anytime in the incubation period, between two and 14 days after an exposure to the virus, you could feel symptoms. Doctors said some may be asymptomatic, but either way you can still spread the virus to people around you.
“As much as I want to see my family too, we might have to tailor it down a bit this year,” said Dr. Withers. “So, we can possibly have Thanksgiving with all of our relatives next year.”
Both Dr. Bratzler and Dr. Withers suggest if you are gathering to do it outside or have a virtual Thanksgiving.