An important reminder that health experts want you to keep in mind. A negative COVID-19 test result doesn't necessarily mean you're not infected.

From a story reported on by WWLP/22 News, many people around the country are getting tested for COVID-19 before Thanksgiving in an effort to safely see their family, but a negative test result may not mean you’re in the clear.

Just because you get a COVID-19 test right before Thanksgiving and even if that test is negative it does not ensure you don’t have the virus, and that the virus won’t spread to loved ones.

Someone who tests negative before Thanksgiving could still become infected within the incubation period. The incubation time for COVID-19 is 14 days so if you test negative in the early days of the incubation period, it doesn’t mean you won’t develop symptoms or enough viral load to test positive later within the two-week period.

Dr. Daniel Skiest, an Infectious Disease doctor at Baystate Health, said, "After you’re infected it could take four or five days to get any symptoms if you have symptoms, and it might take even a few days longer to get a positive test."

According to the CDC, you should not host or participate in any in-person gatherings if you or anyone in your household is at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19, is waiting for COVID-19 test results, or may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days.

Dr. Skiest explains, "We’re measuring the virus, how much virus there is in the infected person. And initially, the virus levels are too low to be picked up by the test. So that’s why initially it might be negative they’re incubating at that point."

Ultimately, public health officials and the CDC are recommending people keep all Thanksgiving gatherings to their own household and no one else.

There's more to the story. Please visit WWLP's website here for more and we thank them for the update.

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