Experts: Negative COVID test not enough to gather safely for Christmas

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Testing for COVID-19 is vital to slow the spread according to experts, but they warn a negative test isn’t a free pass meriting large gatherings.

“I think the tests are picking up less of the COVID than they should be at this point,” says emergency physician Dr. Ryan Stanton. “Eight people who had COVID-typical symptoms, only two ended up testing positive.”

Dr. Stanton says back during Thanksgiving he got a COVID-19 test. He says he tested negative, only to test positive with another test soon after.

While experts say testing is a useful tool, the doctor says it’s best to stay home this Christmas. He suggests getting together with people from different households virtually. Dr. Stanton says we saw an increase in cases after Thanksgiving. After Christmas, he says he anticipates numbers to go back up.

This is all as two vaccines in the US have been given the green light. Next week, more than 27,000 Pfizer vaccines are supposed to arrive in the Commonwealth. The first shipment of the Moderna vaccine is expected next week.

With only a few more big holidays left in the year and hope from these vaccinations, Dr. Stanton warns us to not give up on our fight yet.

“What we don’t want to do is see somebody get covid and have a complication from covid in these last days before we likely have an exit strategy for them,” Dr. Stanton says.

Dr. Stanton says hospitalization numbers in Lexington have picked up over the month. He says they peaked about a week ago.

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