Many people are relying on negative results from COVID-19 tests to protect themselves and their families this Thanksgiving.But doctors say that isn’t a safe bet.Doctors explained a COVID-19 test only provides a moment in time look at whether a person has the virus.KCRA 3’s Emily Maher spoke with health care officials about novel coronavirus testing around the holidays.Dr. Vanessa Walker, Medical Director, Valley EICU Sutter HealthQ: What risks does Thanksgiving present?Walker: In a normal year, Thanksgiving poses a risk. This is the height where we start the flu season. It starts kicking in around the holidays. We very commonly see increases in flu cases, normally. But now, we’re dealing with COVID-19… in addition to this. That disease is much more easily transmissible than the flu is. People don’t have symptoms the way you do with the influenza. You don’t know you have it until many days later when you may have infected a lot of other people.Q: Does getting a negative COVID-19 test protect your family during holiday gatherings?Walker: Simply having a test at one point in time might mean that at that exact moment, you may not have a positive test, but in a few hours, a couple of days, you might turn positive. A negative test is not something that I feel good about when I want to expose myself to other people.Jamie White, Incident Commander, Dept. Operations Center, Sacramento County Public HealthQ: Is there an increase in COVID-19 testing demand in Sacramento County?White: We are seeing an increase in people seeking testing. We had a sharp decrease in testing when the weather was extremely hot and especially when there was smoke in the air. People were less likely to go seek testing. We are seeing as the weather cools down, an increase in cases and more demand for testing.Q: Does the county have enough resources to meet the demand?White: If the demand remains similar, we do have the capacity to serve everyone who is seeking free testing. If the demand continues to increase, then it might be more difficult to make an appointment. However, there are other testing options available.Q: Are there delays in testing results due to increased demand?White: People are getting their results in 24 to 72 hours, at least within the sites that are sponsored within public health.

Many people are relying on negative results from COVID-19 tests to protect themselves and their families this Thanksgiving.

But doctors say that isn’t a safe bet.

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Doctors explained a COVID-19 test only provides a moment in time look at whether a person has the virus.

KCRA 3’s Emily Maher spoke with health care officials about novel coronavirus testing around the holidays.

Dr. Vanessa Walker, Medical Director, Valley EICU Sutter Health

Dr. Vanessa Walker, Medical Director, Valley EICU Sutter Health

Q: What risks does Thanksgiving present?

Walker: In a normal year, Thanksgiving poses a risk. This is the height where we start the flu season. It starts kicking in around the holidays. We very commonly see increases in flu cases, normally.

But now, we’re dealing with COVID-19… in addition to this.

That disease is much more easily transmissible than the flu is. People don’t have symptoms the way you do with the influenza. You don’t know you have it until many days later when you may have infected a lot of other people.

Q: Does getting a negative COVID-19 test protect your family during holiday gatherings?

Walker: Simply having a test at one point in time might mean that at that exact moment, you may not have a positive test, but in a few hours, a couple of days, you might turn positive.

A negative test is not something that I feel good about when I want to expose myself to other people.

Jamie White, Incident Commander, Dept. Operations Center, Sacramento County Public Health

Jamie White, Incident Commander, Dept. Operations Center, Sacramento County Public Health

Q: Is there an increase in COVID-19 testing demand in Sacramento County?

White: We are seeing an increase in people seeking testing.

We had a sharp decrease in testing when the weather was extremely hot and especially when there was smoke in the air. People were less likely to go seek testing.

We are seeing as the weather cools down, an increase in cases and more demand for testing.

Q: Does the county have enough resources to meet the demand?

White: If the demand remains similar, we do have the capacity to serve everyone who is seeking free testing.

If the demand continues to increase, then it might be more difficult to make an appointment.

However, there are other testing options available.

Q: Are there delays in testing results due to increased demand?

White: People are getting their results in 24 to 72 hours, at least within the sites that are sponsored within public health.

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