Health officials expect to see greater COVID testing demand after holidays

Coronavirus

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – As COVID-19 cases continue to rise, officials with the Coastal Health District expect to see a greater demand for testing following the holidays.

Dr. Lawton Davis, director of the Coastal Health District, urges people to stay COVID cautious during the holidays. That includes getting a test before traveling or going to a gathering, which Davis suggests doing 24 to 48 hours before.

Unless you’re showing symptoms, Davis recommends getting a PCR test instead of a rapid test.

“They’re best in determining if somebody who has symptoms is positive and if you’re totally asymptomatic those tests are really not quite as good, so you may have a false sense of security,” he said.

Since Thanksgiving, the percentage of positive tests has nearly doubled to 4% – which Davis said is still a small number. The Coastal Health District is currently giving out up to 450 tests a week on average, but Davis expects that will go up in the coming weeks.

“We’ve been ramping up, we actually preserved our testing infrastructure even though demand had dropped way down so if we do see an increase that the testing sites and equipment and people are still there,” he said.

Dr. Davis also warns caution in using an at-home test, typically sold at pharmacies like CVS and Walgreens.

“If somebody is doing a home test and they don’t get a good specimen, I don’t care how good the test equipment is, it’s going to be negative,” Davis said. “So if you’re going to do a home test, you have to make sure that you get a really good specimen.”

The Coastal Health District’s testing sites will be closed from Wednesday until Sunday. You can click or tap here to find testing locations in our area.

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