With limited testing, traveling for the holidays means taking steps to stop the spread

Testing in the D.C. region has been in high demand as many people head out of town for the holidays. But for many travelers, getting tested before hitting the road just hasn’t been possible.

“It’s been a real problem, and it’s frustrating being this far into the pandemic that testing is such a challenge,” said Dr. Eleanor Wilson, an associate professor at the University of Maryland’s School of Medicine.

She added that, “I know that testing appointments are hard to come by. We’re seeing lines. It’s been hard to see that.”

For people with travel plans, Dr. Wilson said the advice varies.

If you’ve been in contact with someone who has COVID-19 or if you have symptoms, you should get tested. Routine screening is nearly impossible with the limited testing depending on where you live, but she said the best safety measure is to be vaccinated and get a booster shot.

“If you can’t access testing and you’re boosted, it’s still OK to go, just make sure you wear a high quality mask, not a cloth mask, and that should protect you.”

She stressed that while spending time with family is invaluable, keeping in mind that risks will exist is important.

“Keeping each other safe is really one of the best gifts that we can give to anybody else,” Wilson said.

Melissa Howell

Melissa Howell joined WTOP Radio in March 2018 and is excited to cover stories that matter across D.C., as well as in Maryland and Virginia. 

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