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Milwaukee health leaders warn to not test too soon for COVID-19 after the Thanksgiving holiday

Posted at 6:37 PM, Nov 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-30 11:13:22-05

MILWAUKEE — The Miller Park COVID-19 testing site saw a steady stream of people the day after Thanksgiving, but health leaders warn some people might be getting a test too soon.

“You should not be here if you believe you had a close contact exposure on Thanksgiving. So really important three to five days after a close contact exposure is the window of time you want to focus on,” said Dr. Nick Tomaro of the Milwaukee Health Department.

So if you were exposed to someone who potentially has COVID-19 on Thursday, Thanksgiving, the soonest you should test is Sunday. If you are testing on Friday, your results likely would not tell you if you contracted the virus, even if you did.

“The incubation period of this virus is 2-14 days. So if you test too early, if you test on day one or two and get a negative result. Its not an accurate result and it can mislead you,” said Tomaro.

Health leaders say that time to wait gets even longer if you are still traveling or have guests at your home.

This week, NBC News reports that about a million passengers have been flying each day since the Friday before Thanksgiving. So if you or a loved one still need to travel either home or back to Milwaukee, you should wait to take a test.

“I’m a little worried, but I'm going home to quarantine myself for 14 days,” said Pamela McPherson, a traveler from Miami.

The health department says that is the right move if you feel like you have been exposed to COVID-19. They also say keep wearing a mask.

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