Officials worried about potential spike in COVID cases after Thanksgiving

Testing for COVID-19

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Public health leaders are worried about a potential spike in COVID-19 cases after the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

A lot of people may have rushed out to get tested before taking the Thanksgiving holiday and then visiting friends and family, but if you were with a large group it might be a good idea to get tested once you get back.

Dr. Deborah Birx, the Coordinator of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, came out over the weekend and urged people to get tested again after the holiday.

Birx believes a lot of people let down their guard and mingled with crowds of people that might have been family friends. Birx said they should consider themselves infected and get tested again.

Alabama State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris agrees. He believes some people may have gotten that test before the holiday.

“I think people look for any excuse they can to not change their behavior - that’s just what humans do. We have been clear for months and months. Wear a mask, stay at home, stay apart six feet if you can. Whatever you are telling yourself not to do, those things are not the right answer,” Dr. Scott Harris, Alabama Public Health Officer, said.

Dr. Harris and other disease experts fear the country will see even more of a surge after the Thanksgiving holiday than we are already seeing.

Some people are taking advantage of testing available in Jefferson County. Some urgent care businesses are seeing lines of people waiting to get tested, but others are not.

Jefferson County did see a slight uptick in testing before the Thanksgiving holiday as people were getting ready to take trips to get home to visit family and friends. At the Jefferson County Department of Health, Dr. David Hicks said he expects to see another jump as more people come back from the holiday to make sure they were not exposed to the coronavirus. Dr. Hicks said Legion Field remains open and there is little wait time. You can make an appoint and come. The entire process is about 30 minutes.

“I feel more of a general sense of concern. It’s hard to ignore what’s happening in other parts of the country and Alabama is not going to be any different. Hospitals are filling up. We have more family members who personally are dealing with COVID,” Dr. Hicks said.

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