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Need COVID-19 testing post-Thanksgiving? Here's what you should know

"Testing capability is solid right now in North Texas," said Dr. Mark Casanova, president of the Dallas County Medical Society

On the Monday after Thanksgiving, dozens of cars lined up outside the Ellis Davis Fieldhouse, one of Dallas County's drive-thru COVID testing sites.

The number of cars that were queued up would be no surprise to Dr. Mark Casanova, president of the Dallas County Medical Society.

He said demand is going up after the Thanksgiving holiday. 

"Many individuals made informed decisions. They weighed their risk, their family's risk, and gathered with others," he said, "and now the next appropriate step is to get tested."

With so many people thinking about getting tested following Thanksgiving, here are four things you need to know:

Plenty of testing

"Testing capability is solid right now in North Texas," Casanova said. 

Brian Murnahan, a spokesman for Tarrant County Public Health, echoed that, saying there was plenty of testing capacity.

Options of testing facilities

Dallas and Tarrant counties list plenty of free testing locations on their web sites.

For Dallas County, click here

For Tarrant County, click here

And websites like solvhealth.com and curative.com can help point you to available testing in your area, but make sure you understand the financial responsibility before getting tested.

"At the end of the day, if you have questions about testing, call your own physician," Casanova said. "If you don’t have a physician, then definitely go to county health department web site and consider one of the free testing sites offered by the county."

When to get tested

If you returned Sunday from a Thanksgiving trip or gathered with family this weekend, you may want to wait.       

"What we mean by that is if you test too early after a potential exposure, you stand a really good chance of having a negative test," Casanova said. "The recommendation is if you do believe you were in a high-risk situation, then consider testing three to five days after that known exposure."

Choose the right test

Dr. Casanova said you'll want to seek a PCR test or a rapid/antigen test, not an antibodies test, to show if you became infected over Thanksgiving.