Get your COVID house in order before seeing relatives this Thanksgiving


AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – With the Thanksgiving holiday just around the corner, doctors told NewsChannel 6 now is the time to start thinking about a COVID-19 test so that you can quarantine if you have to.

“Kind of semi-quarantine yourself after you’re tested and you know you’re negative, you don’t have to wait until the very last minute,” said Dr. Mark Newton, MedNow Urgent Care CEO, who added that it also depends on how exposed you are at work versus whether you work from home.

MedNow Urgent Care’s Peach Orchard Road location is one of many people can head to in order to get a COVID-19 test that gives a negative result quickly before possibly putting loved ones in danger. Dr. Newton said just play it safe until Turkey day.

He added, “Just be a little more cautious about in door dining or in door gatherings or being less than 6 feet for more than 15 minutes with anyone.”

MedNow recently launched its 15 minute, COVID-19 rapid testing and at Augusta University where results typically take around 24 hours, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Phillip Coule said you can even test again just a few days before meeting relatives.

“If you test now, you could have an exposure that occurs after that and be in that asymptomatic period when you visit your relatives,” Dr. Coule warned.

Both doctors note seeing a slight uptick in coronavirus cases that could possibly signal a third wave coming into the CSRA.

“We’ve seen a little over 10 percent since we’ve started,” Dr. Newton said. “It’s in the 11 to 12 percent range of positives. I will say I was a little surprised that it was that high in our community.”

“We are seeing a little bit of an uptick in cases in Richmond County, Columbia County and Washington County is becoming a little bit of a hot spot,” Dr. Coule told us.

Data from Johns Hopkins shows not only a rise across the U.S., but in Georgia as well.

Despite reports of shortages among tests nationally, AU and MedNow have you covered.

“We recognized that we needed a good stable supply of testing materials a long time ago and we stocked up,” Dr. Coule told us.

Dr. Newton added, “We’ve ordered thousands more tests. We’ve already done 5,000 this month.”

Neither doctor reports seeing any reinfection cases locally. But both warn staying the safety course for the winter months ahead.

“I think flu will be dramatically decreased this year,” said Dr. Newton. “I think we’re all being more cautious.”

At Augusta University, there is a hotline you can call.

The AU Health hotline for COVID-19 test scheduling is 706-721-1852.

At MedNow, Dr. Newton said it might be best to set your appointment up on your phone or on your computer at home and then wait in your car until it’s time to come inside. Click here to contact MedNow.

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