Should you get tested before hitting the road for Thanksgiving? Expert weighs in



HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Thanksgiving is here and chances are some have already been prepping the food, the outfits and maybe even the spouses for a day with the in-laws; but what about prepping yourself to make sure you don’t unknowingly bring COVID to the gathering?

A health leader with the Alabama Department of Public Health says it might just be worth it for some to do a quick test before traveling for the holiday.

At-home tests are an option that did not exist last Thanksgiving. Pharmacies started stocking their shelves with these over-the-counter options earlier this year, and they take about 15 minutes to get a result.

The question is, are they worth the money and a trip to the drug store? Costing anywhere from $10 to $40, experts say they’re actually pretty reliable for an at-home test.

Dr. Karen Landers with the ADPH says if you’re traveling over the holidays, that’s even more reason to consider testing the family at home or going to get a PCR test, especially if you’ve been out and about in crowds in the days leading up to the trip.

There’s another thing to consider too, she says, particularly if someone is unvaccinated or has kids too young to be vaccinated.

“If you are going into a situation that — has persons that are more at-risk for untoward outcomes, such as elderly people, persons with lower immune systems or again if you’re going to be traveling quite a bit, I think it’s reasonable to test before you go. Keep in mind, no test is 100 percent,” Landers said.

She went on to say the PCR test will produce the most accurate results, however, it means a trip to a clinic to get it done and could take anywhere from one to three days for results to come back.

Landers says at-home test may be the best bet for those looking for peace of mind.



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