Local News

Need a COVID-19 test on Thanksgiving? This is your best option

Posted November 24, 2021 6:49 a.m. EST
Updated November 25, 2021 4:47 a.m. EST

A local doctor is strongly encouraging at-home COVID-19 testing before gathering for Thanksgiving -- even if you're vaccinated.

Dr. David Wohl, an infectious disease specialist at UNC Health, said, if you'll be with family or friends from outside your household, testing should be considered whether you're traveling or staying home.

Wake County's testing sites and many others across the state are closed Thursday, but quick at-home tests found at CVS and Walgreens can be performed on Thanksgiving Day, delivering results in 15 minutes. WRAL News found tests at both stores for $23.99.

While doctors say these rapid tests are not as accurate as the PCR tests, they will test for high viral load, which is frequent with Delta cases.

"If everyone’s vaccinated, if everyone’s boosted, I would still test them," Wohl said. "I would use a rapid test the day of the dinner. I would test them the day-of. That’s what we’re doing at my house, and I think that’s the smart way to do it."

Wohl recommends packing the tests and bringing them with you to dinner.

Many testing sites will be closed for the holiday. Even if they're open, it may take more than 24 hours for results to be returned. Wake County Public Health testing sites will be closed Thursday and Friday, reopening Saturday.

You can find other tests in the state here.

Despite recent ups and downs, North Carolina has made significant strides containing the spread of COVID-19 since last Thanksgiving.

Average new cases are 45% lower now than they were last year, and we're also seeing 32% fewer deaths a day. Also, 38% fewer people are in the hospital.

Currently, 57% of people ages 5 and up are fully vaccinated in North Carolina. More than 100,000 kids between the ages of 5 and 11 have gotten at least their first dose.

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