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Centra offers advice on who needs to be tested after holiday gatherings as coronavirus case counts rise

The system currently has 94 patients with coronavirus hospitalized across Lynchburg and Southside
Published: Dec. 30, 2021 at 5:06 PM EST
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LYNCHBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - As people return from holiday gatherings, coronavirus tests have become more in-demand.

Centra Health leaders are offering guidance on who should be get a test and when.

They say first, those who are experiencing symptoms should get one.

“These symptoms can include fever, cough, shortness of breath, sinus congestion, body aches, all the symptoms that we’ve typically seen,” said Dr. Giuliana Allega, executive medical director of primary and urgent care services.

Allega says those with exposure who are fully vaccinated with a booster and no symptoms don’t need one.

She offers advice to others who’ve been exposed but might not be showing symptoms.

“If you’ve had an exposure and you’re fully vaccinated, the optimal window for testing is within five to seven days of exposure,” said Allega. “If you’re unvaccinated, you want to seek out a test immediately and then again in five to seven days.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released new guidelines on isolation and quarantining.

Allega recommends contacting your doctor first if you think you need a test.

Centra is discouraging people from heading to the emergency room unless absolutely necessary - something the state health department is echoing.

“We wanna try to avoid unnecessary emergency room visits. Of course, very sick patients are gonna have to go to the emergency room,” said Allega.

They’re expecting the testing demand to last into at least the first week of January as people return from New Year’s gatherings.

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