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Don’t take COVID home for the holidays

How can you enjoy the holidays during a pandemic? Can COVID testing help? 9Health asked the experts.

COLORADO, USA — If you want to see someone outside your household for the holidays, health experts say the best strategy is to quarantine for 14 days. However, since we are just a week out from Christmas, if you haven’t started quarantining another option could be to get a COVID-19 test. 

The official guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is to avoid holiday gatherings with anyone you don’t live with and avoid traveling. But 9Health Expert, Dr. Payal Kohli, said you may be able to use COVID testing as a tool to be able to celebrate with others safely.

RELATED: As holidays approach state leaders urge Coloradans to 'step up' COVID-19 response

“You can really use testing as a way to reduce your risk and reduce the risk of others and mitigate the risks of gathering and travel,” explained Kohli. “Testing essentially resets the clock on your exposure.” 

9Health has partnered with COVIDCheck Colorado to be able to provide free, fast, reliable testing at testing sites across the front range and beyond.

COVIDCheck Colorado has several testing sites and you can schedule an appointment ahead of time, making the process of getting tested quick and easy.

Eric Parrie, CEO of COVIDCheck Colorado, said the process takes just five to 10 minutes. Click or tap here to make an appointment online.

9Health has partnered to add two ‘pop-up’ sites:

  • Ethiopian Evangelical Church 444 South Lansing St. Aurora, CO 80012
  • Hours of Operation: Saturday, Dec. 19, 10 a.m. - 1p.m.

  • Crossroads Church 10451 Huron Street Northglenn, CO 80234
  • Hours of Operation: Monday, Dec. 21, 7a.m. - 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. - 5:30pm

“You could get a test on Monday, Dec. 21 and you’d have your results back – in many cases Tuesday or Wednesday – which would lead you into the holidays with that sense of security,” Parrie said.

RELATED: Colorado seniors to get free, expedited COVID-19 test

Kohli and Parrie talked about the importance of testing in breaking the chain of transmission of COVID on Facebook Live. 

How do you know if you should get a COVID-19 test?

“Everyone should get tested,” said Kohli, “The more testing we do, the more we’re going to slow the spread of this virus.”

Kohli explained that there are three main groups of people that need to get tested for COVID. Those include:

  1. Those experiencing symptoms of COVID – Typical symptoms include cough, shortness of breath, loss of taste or smell, fever and chills
  2. Those who have had a known exposure – If you were in close contact with somebody that tests positive (was within six feet for more than 15 minutes) – your close contacts should also get tested
  3. Those that are high risk for exposure – essential workers, even if asymptomatic

RELATED: Winter travel raises more fears of viral spread

COVIDCheck Colorado is trying to make it as easy as possible for those that need or want a test, to get one.

They promise you won’t wait for hours at their testing locations.

“Almost all of our sites are open from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and we're running multiple lanes at each one," Parrie said. "We have a whole crew out there that’s ready.”

“This kind of service where you can get in and out in five or 10 minutes and get your results back within a day or two," added Kohli. "It’s going to be incredible in terms of slowing down this virus until we all get vaccinated,”

 COVIDCheck Colorado is using the reliable and accurate RT-PCR nasal test. The test is free, no insurance or identification needed. 

Click or tap here to learn more and make your appointment.

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