Doctor: People should schedule a COVID test if they plan to travel for the holidays
Health officials say that they are expecting COVID-19 testing lines to get longer as more people schedule tests ahead of traveling to see family for the holidays.
A pop-up testing site has opened in Camden City as the need for testing continues to grow around the state.
“We want to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to get tested,” says Camden County Freeholder Jonathan Young. “We’re seeing a large spike in the ZIP code areas here.”
With just 16 days until Christmas, health officials say that it is time to plan how one will be spending their holiday and if that involves getting a coronavirus test.
“You have to go with caution here, in the sense that the pandemic is still very real and prevalent in our area,” says Dr. Mark Condoluci, an infectious disease specialist at Jefferson Health - New Jersey.
Condoluci says that he is advising against large holiday gatherings. But he says that anyone who needs to travel should plan ahead and quarantine as much as they can, starting now. And consider getting tested.
“It is responsible to be forward-thinking that way and to be tested in a time-appropriate way,” Condoluci says.
The doctor suggests getting tested at least 72 hours before traveling, to ensure that results are given in time. But he says to anticipate testing lines to get longer leading up to Christmas.
“Remember, there are folks that are still being exposed that are symptomatic, so they’re going to be tested as well. So, you want to have a surplus of folks that will want to be tested for a variety of reasons,” Condoluci says.
He says that after the test, a person should quarantine.
Indoor gatherings are currently capped at 10 people in New Jersey. Health officials say that they are hoping that everyone thinks twice before leaving home or inviting others inside.
"You do not want to put your family and friends at risk just for the holiday. Sometimes we have to sacrifice one holiday to have many more together,” Condoluci says.