Locals lining up to get tested for COVID-19 before Thanksgiving

COVID-19 testing sites remain packed before holidays

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - More people in the Tri-State are getting tested for COVID-19 as they approach the holiday season.

The rush is in to ensure test results come back before Thursday, when many are planning to gather despite local and state recommendations against it.

“We just wanted to get tested before the holidays, essentially,” Marq Casey said.

“Coming out here to get tested me and my wife, it’s six of us in the household, so all of us want to get tested, make sure everybody’s fine,” added William Russell.

Health officials warn not to get too comfortable after taking the test.

“It’s only a snapshot in time, and the concern I have is people think it’s safe to drop their guard, and it’s simply not,” UC Health President and CEO Richard Lofgren said.

UC Health researcher Kameron Meredith has seen the lines grow at his testing sites.

“I’ve been doing this for three weeks now, and at our first couple sites, there was about five to 10 people, and then the fourth day there were about 50 standing at the doors when we got there,” he said. “The virus is getting so heavy right now that more and more people are coming to get tested.”

Testing is set up at several YMCA locations in the area, with some lines wrapped around the corner.

“It’s been good,” Samantha Rouleau said. “It’s been a little bit of a wait, but it was worth it. Seems like people are being respectful and wearing masks and staying six feet apart, and that was my biggest concern.”

“I’ve been out here for a little over an hour,” said Russell.

Russell explains his two daughters recently tested positive.

“So now we go to self-quarantine and make sure the rest of us in my household are ok. My daughters isolated in their bedrooms, nothing really different for them,” said Russell.

“Once you are tested, it is important to isolate until you have your results back,” Meredith said. “Also, due to the fact you can be asymptomatic, people aren’t getting their results back immediately and they’re still out doing things, and it’s just important to stay quarantined until you receive your results.”

While better safe than sorry, the Ohio Department of Health has issued new guidance on when people can discontinue isolation. They say you’re good to go if at least 10 days have passed since symptom onset and at least 24 hours have passed without fever or without the use of fever reducing medications.

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