Coronavirus Testing Sites Unable to Meet Demand Ahead of Holiday Season

San Francisco is reminding people ahead of Thanksgiving that COVID-19 testing resources are not meant to support traveling for visits

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San Francisco and other Bay Area counties are seeing an increase in demand for COVID-19 testing amid a surge in cases and with the holidays approaching.

The city is reminding people that resources are not meant to support traveling for visits -- a message that comes as some people consider Thanksgiving plans.

A testing site at the Alemany Farmers Market can take up to 500 people a day. The site has recently needed that capacity and more.

It’s the holiday some families live for and in an effort to keep a tradition going, many Americans are rushing to get a COVID test before Thanksgiving. But experts warn a negative test doesn’t mean your family is 100% safe. Cheryl Hurd reports.

The Embarcadero site gets booked out, but the city said there are other sites available and are working hard to meet demand for more testing while cases surge.

Santa Clara County is seeing a similar demand for tests as some people planning on gathering for Thanksgiving next week seek negative results to ease their mind.

But doctors say a negative test could give people a false sense of security.

"There’s a lot of lag between testing and resulting, and there will be a lag between when you get the test and meet with your family member," said Dr. Aruna Subramanian of Stanford Healthcare.

The incubation period for the coronavirus is 14 days, so someone who is infected could feel fine for almost a week and be contagious the whole time.

Experts say even if a person tests negative, they should continue with safety protocols such as wearing a mask and social distancing.

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