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COVID testing sites in the region sees an increase of people

Published: Dec. 21, 2021 at 10:44 PM CST
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - The busiest holiday travel day is on Friday as people prepare to celebrate the Christmas holiday.

COVID-19 testing sites in the Valley have been keeping busy.

“Monday, December 20th, we did about 2,600 tests at our static site, which was the most we’ve done in most recent history,” said Ben Snyder, the emergency preparedness logistician for Fargo Cass Public Health.

FCPH says they are seeing an increase of people getting tested for COVID-19, just in time for their holiday travel plans.

“There starts to be a line forming around 7:30 or 7:45. I think it’s just people that want to get tested right away,” said Snyder.

Essentia Health testing sites, across their hospital system, are also seeing an uptick in their number of tests.

In the span of two days, the number of tests jumped from 370 to more than 1,500.

“As numbers go up, certainly you want to consider being tested more often. I think with travel, we want to make sure we are not promoting or carrying that virus across large geographic areas, if we can,” said Dr. Richard Vetter, Essentia’s chief medical officer.

Health officials say if you are planning on traveling this holiday season you should remember getting tested within a certain amount of time.

“If you don’t have symptoms, the recommendation is to do two tests 36 hours apart. Do one before you leave to meet your family and do one the day of or the day before the gathering,” said Dr. Avish Nagpal, an infectious disease physician.

Medical experts also say depending on the test you take the result times could vary.

“PCR testing is much more accurate than the antigen testing, whether you are asymptomatic or not. There is some delay in turn around time if it has to be sent to our reference lab, whereas the rapid or the home testing you get within minutes,” said Dr. Vetter.

Nagpal says you should also consider getting tested for another common virus.

“Influenza is kind of surging most of the states, too. Not only COVID, I think you should get tested for Influenza too to protect yourself, your families, and your loved ones,” he said.

Multiple area school districts have switched back to distance learning temporarily due to an influx.

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