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Should you get tested for COVID-19 after gathering for Thanksgiving?

"You can't afford to bank on symptoms, being an indication, because all of us are at risk," St. Luke's Hospital Infectious Disease Specialist said

ST. LOUIS — The Monday after Thanksgiving, residents in St. Louis lined up for free testing in the parking lot of the Victor Roberts building on Kingshighway.

Missouri State Representative Steven Roberts co-hosted the free COVID-19 testing event with Affinia Healthcare.

"We're one of the only locations where you can come out and get tested, you don't need to have insurance, you don't need a doctors appointment or to be showing symptoms. Anyone who comes, basically, we'll make sure they get taken care of," Roberts said.

Roberts said they've been hosting drive-thru testing for months and that about 1,000 people have been tested at their site. 

Affinia's Chief Operating Officer, Dr. Kendra Holmes was busy testing people who came through her drive-thru line at the Kingshighway pop-up site. She says if people gathered this Thanksgiving, the only way they'll know if they caught COVID-19 is to get tested.

"Unfortunately you may never know, that's why it's so important to get tested. So when you're looking at the incubation period, we can see individuals start to see symptoms within three to four days, but that varies per individual," Dr. Holmes said.

Her advice, "if you have participated in some activity where you did not have a mask on, you were with individuals who are not in your family, you do need to be tested."

St. Luke's Hospital Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Pearl Philip says this testing site pop up came at the right time, "The Thanksgiving holidays brought the busiest travel season, since the beginning of the pandemic. More Americans are positive with COVID-19 today than ever before. So your average risk of contracting this virus, if you did travel or did attend a gathering without masks weren't one in particular is at an all time high."

Dr. Philip recommends getting tested or self-quarantining for 14 days if you traveled or attended an unmasked gathering. She says we'll know if this Thanksgiving proves to be a major COVID-19 spreading event in three to four weeks.


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