If you traveled for Thanksgiving, assume you were exposed

Coronavirus

DENVER (KDVR) — If you traveled or celebrated with a group at Thanksgiving, doctors say you should assume you were exposed to COVID-19, take precautions, and get tested.

“We need to consider ourselves to be potentially infected, and quarantine based upon that,” Dr. John Hammer said, an infectious disease specialist at Rose Medical Center in Denver.

One million people traveled by air this holiday weekend, and many others drove to gather with family and friends for celebrations.

Hammer says those people should be staying in their households, away from vulnerable people, and they should be making a plan to get tested.

If you develop symptoms, get tested right away and isolate. But remember 40% to 50% of patients are asymptomatic.

“I think everybody that went on the trip should ideally be tested at somewhere between four and seven days after they return,” Hammer said.

With the incubation period, Hammer says we won’t necessarily see the spike in cases or hospitalizations immediately.

“You really start to see the hospitalizations two to three weeks after an event such as the Thanksgiving holiday,” he said.

 So, when would a traveler be in the clear? According to Hammer, most of your risk will be gone after 10 days. 

These are all things to keep in mind while planning for the December holidays. Hammer expects the same sort of warning will apply.

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