SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – With a week left before Thanksgiving, some people are getting tested for coronavirus in the hope that it means they can see relatives and attend even large gatherings safely.

However, Dr. Chris Rustin, who is the administrator of the Chatham County Health Department, says it’s not a good idea to make that assumption.

“A test is really a snapshot in time and that’s something I think is critically important for people to understand, i.e. that coronavirus has a lengthy incubation period,” said Ruskin.

He says you generally test positive when you have symptoms or are close to having them — and it all depends on your behavior prior to the test.

“If you’re out and about, not social distancing, not wearing a mask and not washing your hands, you may be very early in the incubation period of the virus and test negative but actually be positive a couple of days later,” said Ruskin.

Thursday, Chatham County marked the 200th death from coronavirus, and Ruskin says the virus hasn’t gone away because it’s a holiday.

“It is going to be tough this year,” he said. “We have concerns that we are going to see additional spread of the virus.”

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has issued a plea and is asking people not to travel over the long holiday weekend saying that diagnosed infections, hospitalizations and deaths are skyrocketing in many parts of the country.

The CDC says only attend a gathering with members of your own household. Ruskin agrees and says if possible, hold your gathering outside and wear a mask and social distance as much as possible. But when in doubt, it’s suggested you stay home and avoid putting yourself or relatives, especially older relatives at risk.