With the fall and winter holidays approaching, Loudoun County health officials advise those who are planning to travel or gather indoors with others to take precautions against COVID-19. This includes getting tested if you think you may have COVID-19 or have been exposed to someone who has the virus.
“I encourage people who will be traveling and gathering with family and friends for Thanksgiving and other upcoming holidays to get tested before you get together with others who live outside your household regardless of their vaccination status,” said Loudoun County Health Director Dr. David Goodfriend. “Knowing whether you’re infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 before you celebrate will help you to know when you should stay home so that you don’t unknowingly spread the virus to others.”
When to Get Tested
When getting tested before traveling, you want to consider the timing. Ideally, you should take the test close to the date when you are traveling or planning to gather with others, but far enough ahead to get results.
Anyone who is exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, such as fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue and a new loss of taste or smell, should get tested right away. Additionally, if you know you have been potentially exposed to someone with COVID-19, regardless of your vaccination status, you should get tested 5 days after the exposure.
If you get tested because you have symptoms or were potentially exposed to the virus, you should stay away from others pending test results and follow the advice of your health care provider or a public health professional.
Where to Get Tested
Types of Tests
There are generally two types of tests available for COVID-19: an antigen test and a PCR test. Samples are typically collected with a nasal or throat swab. Some tests use saliva as a sample.
More information about COVID-19 testing is available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Along with testing, vaccination against COVID-19 is key to ending the pandemic. Appointments at the Loudoun County vaccination clinic at the Dulles Town Center can be made online for:
Loudoun County is currently offering all three types of vaccine (Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson). Children 17 and younger are only eligible for Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
You can find other vaccination opportunities at vaccines.gov.
In addition to the approaching holidays, cold weather will lead to more people spending more time together indoors. Follow these precautions this fall and winter to stay safe:
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