Chatham Co. Health Dept. sees increase of COVID testing before Thanksgiving


By Amanda Aguilar| November 20, 2020 at 4:00 PM EST - Updated November 20 at 4:00 PM 

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Chatham County Health Department says it’s seen carloads of family members getting COVID-19 tests in hopes they could safely attend a holiday gathering.

In the past two weeks, Chatham County Health Department has seen an increase of people getting tested for COVID-19.

Dr. Chris Rustin says some may be doing it as they prepare to travel for the holidays, but he wants the public to know a negative test doesn’t mean you’re in the clear.

Chatham County Health Department has concerns that the assumption that a negative test means you can go to a large gatherings or travel is giving some a false sense of security.

“A test is really just a snapshot in time,” said Dr. Rustin.

Dr. Rustin, the county’s health administrator, says the coronavirus has a lengthy incubation period. Meaning if you’ve been exposed and you test too early, you may very well test negative.

He says you won’t test positive until you get further along in the incubation period, which is at about 7-10 days.

Dr. Rustin says if you want to make sure you test negative...

“Start, really now or even a few days before, of self-isolation, trying to stay away from people, ensuring that you’re not being exposed. You know, people have to work, so what we’d recommend is that you continue to wear your masks, that you’re washing your hands, that you’re social distancing. Those are critical public health steps.”

Joining in on the CDC’s plea, Chatham County Health Department is discouraging the public from traveling this holiday season. Dr. Rustin says if you are planning a gathering, keep it small, keep it outside, wear masks, social distance and most importantly talk to family members about these expectations. 

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