Health officials brace for potential post-holiday COVID surge, urge testing

Richmond

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — As coronavirus cases climb across the country, local health officials are bracing for a potential “post-holiday” surge.

Cindy Williams, Riverside Health System Vice President and Chief Pharmacy Officer, told WVEC that while the uptick is a possibility, it’ll take another week or two to determine how bad the situation is.

“I think we’ve seen a bit of that after Thanksgiving… not surprising, people traveled, maybe out of state where there could be different transmission levels, people got around tables,” Williams said. “I think the same is going to happen in Christmas.”

In addition to holiday travel, health officials are taking the Omicron variant into account, which, right now, accounts for more than 70% of all new cases.

Doctors say vaccines and tests will be the key to slowing the spread.

So, when should you get tested?

According to the latest guidance from the CDC, if you have COVID symptoms, you should get tested immediately. If the test is negative, but symptoms persist, another test may be needed.

If you’ve been exposed but you’re fully vaccinated, the CDC recommends getting tested five to seven days after the exposure.

COVID symptoms can appear anywhere from two to 14 days after someone is exposed to the virus.

If you’re in need of a test, the Richmond Henrico Health District is holding two events this week:

  • 12/28 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. at Second Baptist Church
  • 12/29 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. Eastern Henrico Rec Center Ballroom

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