Wait to get tested 3-5 days after possible exposure, health officials say

Posted at 5:52 PM, Nov 30, 2020

MILWAUKEE — Health officials expected a busy day at the Miller Park COVID-19 testing site on Monday coming off of the holiday weekend. Before the site was open, hundreds of vehicles were lined up with people waiting to get tested. For Michael Dowse, he got tested as a precautionary measure.

“It’s very important, because if you don’t get tested, you can spread it with your family that's why social distancing is so important,” said Dowse.

Others were tested because they had some traveling to do.

“I’m going to be traveling and want to make sure I’m not infecting anyone,” said Rita.

Despite the reasons, Dr. Nick Tomaro with the City of Milwaukee Health Department said it’s important to time out your test properly.

If you were with friends or family on Thanksgiving Day and believe you may have been exposed to the virus the first step is to quarantine, followed by a test 3-5 days post-exposure.

“If it was on thanksgiving now we are in that window of time… if it was traveling back home on Sunday, you really want to wait mid-week to end of week before you seek testing,” said Dr. Tomaro.

Dr. Tomaro said it’s important not to get tested too soon, or your results will come back with a false negative.

“Look at what your exposure has been, know there is a high degree of community spread right now, and be careful at all times thinking about those around you and really quarantining when it’s warranted based on your close contact exposures,” said Dr. Tomaro.

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