Local health experts predict uptick in COVID-19 cases due to holiday travel


GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – The holiday season is just beginning, and health experts are concerned about people traveling and spreading the coronavirus.

They’re warning people about their holiday travel and how they face increased risk of contracting the virus. Some testing sites are already seeing increased demand, but getting tested for COVID-19 the same day you get back from traveling is not the best plan. 

Beaufort County health workers recommend getting tested at least five days after an encounter with someone COVID-positive or traveling. They also said if you’re experiencing any kind of symptoms, it’s better to be safe than sorry. 

“We have had several clusters of people that are just getting checked for good measure and it’s just sinuses, but they end up coming back positive,” said Janell Octigan with the Beaufort County Health Department. “I would always err on the side of caution and would encourage those in the community to do so as well.”

Health experts warn community spread from more holiday travel could lead to an uptick in positive cases. They plead for people to follow guidelines to prevent the spread, which means wearing your mask, being six feet from others and washing your hands frequently. 

Health officials also said it’s important to remember that we might not know the total impact of Thanksgiving travel on the number of positive COVID-19 cases because it can take up to two weeks for someone to test positive after they’ve been exposed.

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