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Local doctors see a spike in rapid COVID-19 testing right before Christmas

Velocity Urgent Care COVID-19 testing site.PNG
Posted at 5:11 PM, Dec 23, 2020

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Renee Taylor is in town from Palm Beach, Florida.

“I came to visit my daughter and her family. She has a newborn son. He is 2 months old; his name is Eric,” said Taylor.

Like any grandmother, she’s looking to hold and spend quality time with her grandchild this Christmas, but she says that can only be done safely with a negative COVID-19 test.

“We did [the] rapid [COVID-19 test],” Taylor adds.

Health leaders say she isn’t the only one rushing in to get a test. They are seeing a holiday spike.

"People are trying to get in and get tested prior to travel or planning to even be with family in the local area,” said Dr. Tiffany Sibley.

Dr. Sibley is the Chief Medical Officer with Velocity Urgent Care.

She says, "I think most people come in for our rapid testing, and that's just because you can get results back in 20 minutes or so."

Nicole White’s results will determine if she will see her parents in South Carolina.

“I’ve been having a little bit of symptoms, and my parents are both elderly,” said White.

Dr. Sibley says before you walk into an Urgent Care center for a rapid COVID-19 test, it is important to check with the state you are traveling to or the airline to make sure they don’t require a PCR test.

"The PCR is the goal standard test right now. It's run in a lab at a high complexity,” adds Sibley.

She says even with a negative test, you should still socially distance and wear a mask to protect your loved ones.

“At the end of the day, seeing your family is important, but having them be alive is even more important,” says White.

Related: Norfolk Airport sees long lines early Wednesday as AAA predicts year-to-year holiday travel drop

Taylor is looking forward to celebrating with some peace knowing her rapid test came back negative.

“I’m going to go home and pick him up in my arms and not put him down until Monday morning,” she adds.

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