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‘It doesn’t matter which one you get, get the test’: Jeffco health leaders urge COVID testing before holiday travel

Published: Dec. 14, 2021 at 10:57 AM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - As people prepare to travel or have family visit them for the holidays next week, health leaders suggest that would also be a good time to get tested for COVID.

Dr. David Hicks with the Jefferson County Health Department says you should be aware of specific testing requirements for where you might be traveling.

Testing has improved enough that the difference in accuracy from one kind of test to another is not that great. But with some labs being closed during the holiday, scheduling your test can be important.

“At this point it doesn’t matter which one you get, get the test,” says Hicks. “You really want to get the test one to two days or so before you travel, but you have to time it so that you get the results back. So, if it’s a rapid test, yes, you’ll get the results back fairly quickly. If it has to be sent out to a lab, you’re not gonna get those results back for one to two days.”

Hicks also says now is the time to get a second shot or booster if you’re not fully vaccinated, since it will take about two weeks for your body to build enough antibodies for full protection. Hicks also says it’s important to think not only of your own protection, but those you’ll be around for the holiday who may have weaker immune systems.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re vaccinated or not, you don’t want to be the carrier and pass it on to the next person,” Hicks says. “And that’s you doing your part to protect a loved one who may be more at risk.”

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