'It has the potential to be a perfect storm': Get a COVID-19 test or avoid large holiday gatherings, Duke health expert suggests

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- Before you spend time with loved ones this holiday season, a Duke health expert is encouraging the public to get a COVID-19 test or just flat out avoid gatherings this year.

Unfortunately, holidays this year like the 4th of July and Halloween have meant large increases in cases.

"In general, I'm very concerned about the next three to six months," said Tom Denny, chief operating officer at Duke's Human Vaccine Institute.

While there could be a rush on testing in the next couple of weeks, there should be enough to go around.

"People are starved to be with family members, they want to have that contact, they want to have that traditional Thanksgiving get-together and I think people are realizing testing helps ensure that," said Denny, who believes testing is in a far better place than back in the spring.

On Monday, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services echoed the same points saying, social gatherings are driving the current spike in COVID-19 cases.
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Denny said while you should get a test before you go to the house of a loved one for a holiday, there are other things you need to do as well; a week before Thanksgiving, you should isolate, then get a test before going to a family member's house.

Even if you do attend gatherings, Denny said you should ensure you're wearing a mask, staying distant and washing your hands.

"We have a lot of holidays coming up and potentials for gatherings over the next couple of months that I'd almost say is a perfect storm," he said.


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