Health Officials Urge Families Get Tested for COVID-19 Before Thanksgiving

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It will be tough not to gather with other families this holiday season due to COVID, but health officials say the general rule is not to, but if people must, they should get tested. 

Newell Arnerich is a Danville City councilman but the job he’s most proud of is husband and father. The only way he will sit down for Thanksgiving dinner with his family this year is to get a COVID test.

Thanksgiving will be like no other this year. With COVID-19 restrictions in place, dining inside a restaurant is off the table. But restaurants and bakeries are preparing the traditional favorites for pick up. Jean Elle reports.

“I want to see my daughter, I want to see my son, daughter in laws, son in laws, we just can’t do that unless we are absolutely certain cause we’ve had a big enough break and if we did that it’d be like playing roulette we have to be safe with our family,” said Arnerich.

Contra Costa County is offering testing for families who are concerned about covid exposure at a Concord site.

“I just want to be safe,” said a resident. “We going to get together with family. We want to protect them, we want to protect ourselves.”

With hospital numbers rising, doctors say the next two weeks are critical. They say everyday decisions will determine if this surge gets out of control or becomes manageable and that includes your Thanksgiving plans. Janelle Wang reports.

Health officials say testing is recommended but not foolproof.

“Testing right now only tells your COVID status right now, it doesn’t tell your status seven to eight days from now. That’s why testing is not a cure-all. The best thing is not to gather in person,” said a Contra Costa Health Services spokesperson.

Daily coronavirus testing jumped nearly 50% in the last month. Quest Diagnostics one of the country’s largest labs, says its turnaround time is getting longer. The average: more than two days.

Contra Costa Health Services has launched a Testing Before Turkey campaign at various COVID-19 testing sites in the county to encourage families to get tested before gathering with other people for the Thanksgiving holiday. Bob Redell reports.

But health and human services tells NBC News the supply concerns are overstated. There are different situations in every state.

In Contra Costa County, COVID tests are available. Residents just have to make an appointment.

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