Trying to get tested for COVID-19 before Christmas? It’s likely too late

Trying to get tested for COVID-19 before Christmas? It’s likely too late

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — Long lines piled up at COVID-19 testing sites across metro Atlanta Wednesday, as people rush to get tested before the Christmas holiday.

“It was pretty easy, they asked us like ten questions each,” said Samir Alyateem.

He said getting tested was about being safe.

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“A relative tested positive so were making sure we didn’t get any exposure,”Alyateem said.

[SPECIAL SECTION: Coronavirus Pandemic in Georgia]

He was just one of hundreds of people who lined up at a COVID testing site on Clairmont Road in Decatur on Wednesday.

“We’re seeing the numbers for testing requests about as high as before hanksgiving. We’re doing about a thousand a day,” said Dr. Audrey Arona, Health Director for Gwinnett, Newton and Rockdale Counties.

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Arona said even if people get tested this week, they might not get their results back before the Christmas holiday.

“If we do a test the turnaround time is about 48 hours so it really wouldn’t make a difference, in terms of Christmas at this point,” Dr. Arona said.

But Arona said even with a negative test result, people should not celebrate Christmas like they normally would.

“Being negative doesn’t withdraw the need for anyone to follow the guidance with preventative measures,” she said.

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