Health experts recommend waiting 5 to 7 days after exposure to get tested for COVID-19

Local News

CENTRAL ILLINOIS (WCIA) — Thanksgiving is just a few days away, and a lot of you are trying to make plans with your families. The CDC recommends postponing travel, but for those who are traveling, there are a few things you need to know about when to get tested.

It depends on when you may have been exposed to a positive case. Health experts are saying the virus needs five to seven days to show up.

In other words, if you’ve been around people and are planning to see someone for Thanksgiving, don’t just go get a test right after being around others. You might get a test the next day, and it’ll come back negative, but then the virus shows up a few days later. That’s because you may not have waited enough time for the virus to show up.

“This is a time we like to get together with family and friends, but the disease is throughout our region. A lot of people have it. Not everyone’s aware they have it. It’s a very contagious disease. You don’t want to spread that to family and friends,” said Vermilion County Public Health Administrator Doug Toole.

While you are waiting those five to seven days, Toole says you need to still be careful. He recommends wearing a mask, staying distanced from other people and keeping an eye on yourself for symptoms.

Toole added that it is possible for someone to be exposed one day and test positive the next, but that could mean they were exposed to a positive case before that without knowing it. He does expect the number of cases to go up after the holiday.

If you’re still planning to gather, and not exclusively with the people you live with, Toole says you should consider opening the windows, eating outside on a heated porch, and putting space between tables and inviting a smaller crowd. This is all about protecting the people you love.

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