Doctors say time is of the essence for those coming back from holiday travels

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – If you traveled for Thanksgiving, doctors advise that now is a very important time in determining how to keep you and your loved ones safe from COVID-19.

Dr. Valerie Scott with Roper St. Francis said the most important rule of thumb after traveling in COVID-19 times is to make sure you evaluate your risk of exposure.

Dr. Scott said there are some questions to ask yourself including “were you in a place where you were around a lot of people, not practicing social distancing, or not wearing a mask?” If so, these situations would warrant you as very high risk for contracting COVID-19.

Dr. Scott said that regardless of who you interacted with, and how you interacted with them, the most optimal option would be to quarantine for up to 14 days. And when it comes to testing, timing is the most important aspect.

There are a lot of false negative tests because the viral load isn’t high enough to be caught by the test. so if you want to get tested or you were in a situation where you’re pretty sure you were exposed need to wait 7 to 10 days to get tested.  

Dr. Valerie Scott, Roper St. Francis 

As for what you should look out for while quarantining? Dr. Scott said to not overlook what some may describe as seasonal allergies.

Dr. Scott said just because symptoms may appear mild, or it’s the time of year when you usually have allergies, it doesn’t mean it isn’t COVID-19. She went on, “if you start to feel a runny nose or have more sneezing or even a sore throat you should consider testing. If you present a fever, that would trigger your need to be tested.” Another few symptoms to watch for are gastrointestinal issues and a loss of smell and/or taste.

If you did have close contact with a COVID-19 positive individual while on holiday, Dr. Scott said you should still quarantine for 14 days regardless of a negative test.

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