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Health officials encourage COVID-19 testing during holidays

Posted at 4:47 PM, Dec 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-21 18:51:09-05

TWIN FALLS — The recent surge of COVID-19 cases in other parts of the United States has prompted local health officials to remind people of the importance of getting tested for COVID-19.

“What we expect is a continual decrease in testing, simply because fewer people are getting sick right now," said Brianna Bodily, the Public Information Officer for the South Central Public Health District. "When fewer people are getting sick, fewer people go in for testing or worry about testing if they have been exposed because that kind of exposure is just not happening as much.”

With friends and families planning holiday gatherings over the next couple of weeks, getting tested will help notify other people if they have or have not been exposed, and they can act accordingly.

“If you have COVID-19 or there are a variety of other illnesses that act like this as well, you could’ve exposed somebody to the disease even before your symptoms started," said Bodily. "So, it's important to get tested so that you can know, I have this disease and I need to warn people within this time frame, that they might have been exposed.”

If you would like to get tested there are multiple places you can go to like your primary healthcare provider, the local health district office, and even local hospitals. There are also online resources people can utilize to find a testing site that matches their criteria of what they need/want.

“You can go to get-tested-covid-19.org, or if you don’t want to remember that long URL, you can go to our website, go to our COVID-19 testing page, we have a link right there," said Bodily. "You just type in your zip code and it will show all the providers near you.”

For people who are either already sick or prefer to remain home, there are ways to receive an at-home testing kit.

“You can reach out to Idaho Health and Welfare and get a free, at-home testing kit," said Bodily. "If you don’t want to go on their website or do anything online, you can just call 211. Ask them for the COVID-19 testing kit and they will direct you to the right resource so you can order one of those.”