CHARLESTON S.C. (WCBD) – South Carolina is stepping up to the plate ahead of Thanksgiving with testing before gatherings according to the State’s Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC).
While there has been a moderate increase in testing ahead of the holiday, physicians warn about testing those who are asymptomatic carriers as those without symptoms often shed less of the virus and make it harder for gold standard tests to pick up.
Dr. Ted Thompson, a physician at Roper St. Francis in Mount Pleasant Hospital, said he echoes the CDC’s notions for celebrations this holiday. He said the safest thing to do is to not have a family gathering at all but understands it’s not realistic in our society.
While Dr. Thompson commended those getting tested, he alluded to a dangerous side of the matter. It is important to remember your results only represent your state of health for the day of the test itself. Despite the result, if you show symptoms after a test, Thompson has a message for you.
If you’re sick, just stay home and isolate regardless and you can then go get a test. But as soon as you are sick and symptomatic, then isolate…Dr. Ted Thompson, Roper Mt Pleasant Hospital
Of course, if you still choose to celebrate with family whether you are tested or not, there are ways to mitigate spread. Dr. Thompson suggesting what we’ve heard continuously: stay farther apart, stay outdoors and increase hand hygiene along with some holiday-specific warnings.
These unique holiday warnings include to not pass around bowls or plates and to have one designated individual serve food to all. Another, is to ventilate the home if you cannot host an outside get-together. This means keeping doors and windows open to allow air to move through the home and make transmission more difficult for the virus.
As for masks during gatherings, he believes that it should be worn initially if it is held inside. However, outside transmission is very difficult and very rare.
Primarily, the key points to be wary of include, “Hand washing, not putting our hands to our face, not licking our fingers; those things are everything that our grandmothers told us to do now is turning out to be absolutely true.”
The last item Dr. Thompson mentioned of importance is to self-isolate and quarantine until you’ve received your test results.