Health experts say they expect a surge in COVID cases following the Thanksgiving holiday in which many Americans ignored recommendations against travel and gathering with family and friends.
If you attended a Thanksgiving celebration, what should you do now? A Chicago doctor offers some advice.
Doctor Rahul Khare is the CEO of Innovative Express Care, which does 2,000 COVID-19 tests every day across four locations in Chicago.
“About a week from Thanksgiving is when we will start to see an increase in patients having a spike,” he said.
Over the last two days, because of the holiday, many testing sites were closed.
But Khare has advice on testing for those who did attend gatherings with people outside of their households.
Wait on testing
“If you saw your family on Thanksgiving I would wait a good three to five days before you get tested,” Khare said. “It takes about that amount of time for the virus to develop in your nasopharyngeal anterior nasal cavities, so I wouldn’t get tested just the day after.”
Unless you’re having symptoms.
If you’re having symptoms, Khare says get tested immediately.
As cases surge around the country, Khare said the biggest hurdle for people in the race against the disease is actually getting a test.
“It is very difficult to get a test in Chicago,” he said. “At Innovative we do more than 2,000 tests per day and that’s over four locations. We probably could be doing 4,000 or 5,000 the demand is so high.”
Khare and other health officials said we are heading into a dangerous period – the winter during which outdoor activities will be limited, and the holiday season in which people will want to gather for parties. But he says it’s important to fight against fatigue.
“The vaccine is around the corner. I think it’s important to be as safe as you can. Communicate through Skype, Zoom and FaceTime with your friends and family,” Khare said. “Do the best you can because if you can limit the spread, you could save lives. And honestly that’s what we need to be doing until the vaccine comes around.”