CDC recommends people use COVID-19 rapid tests before indoor gatherings this holiday season

7December 2021

RALEIGH, N.C. — Here’s the latest news and information on COVID-19 and the COVID-19 vaccines.


The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its guidance on COVID-19 testing and is advising people, even those who are vaccinated, to get a test before they head to an indoor gathering.

The agency said a rapid test ahead of a gathering is important if the gathering includes unvaccinated children and older people who are more vulnerable to COVID-19.

“Even if you don’t have symptoms and have not been exposed to an individual with COVID-19, using a self-test before gathering indoors with others can give you information about the risk of spreading the virus that causes COVID-19,” the CDC said in its guidance.

If you do test positive, you’ll want to self isolate at home for 10 days and wear a mask if you do have to come in contact with others.

Keep in mind, a negative test means the test did not detect the virus, but it doesn’t completely rule out an infection. Repeating the test for the next couple of days, at least 24 hours apart, will increase your confidence that you’re not infected.

4:15 p.m.
Wake County Public Health has confirmed an outbreak of COVID-19 at Universal Healthcare North Raleigh at 5201 Clarks Fork Drive.

This is the facility’s fifth outbreak. The previous outbreaks occurred in July 2020, November 2020, March 2021 and August 2021. The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services defines an outbreak as two or more people – residents or employees – testing positive for the virus. Because of the possibility for rapid spread of COVID-19 in long-term settings,

3:30 p.m.
North Carolina reported an increase in cases compared to a week ago at this time.

The state reported 2,101 new cases. Last Monday, 1,725 cases were added. Though the numbers are trending upward the past couple of weeks, there were still three times more cases reported (6,438) this week in 2020.

The daily percent positive is 7.7%, an improvement from last week’s 8.3%. This time last year it was at 9.8%

A total of 1,307 hospitalizations were reported, 105 more than Friday and up from a week ago (1,077). This time last year, however, 2,247 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 related issues.

A total of 35 new deaths were recorded, bringing the state’s total to 18,860.

NCDHHS reports that 62% of the state’s population is at least partially vaccinated and 73% of the adult population is fully vaccinated.

About about 29% of people who are fully vaccinated have also received a booster shot.

As for the weekend, 8,568 new cases were identified. This is an increase from the previous weekend, which was Thursday-Sunday because of Thanksgiving when there were 8,172 new cases.

12:19 p.m.

Citing the holiday season and rising COVID-19 cases, Wake County is increasing testing appointments by more than 50%.

The county is adding nearly 1,900 new slots per day, six days a week, to the testing calendar to prioritize symptomatic residents and people who’ve been exposed to a positive case, while still accommodating those who want to make sure they’re virus-free before attending holiday gatherings.

“Since we started offering free COVID-19 testing in 2020, Wake County has diligently monitored the data and changed its testing structure and capacity based on need,” said Chief Medical Officer Dr. José Cabañas. “This is no different. We see increased demand on the horizon, and we’re taking the necessary steps to accommodate it.”

The newly added appointments are available via the county’s COVID-19 website. They bring the total number of slots offered per day to nearly 4,900. The county’s testing sites are open Monday-Saturday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., with clients typically receiving their results in 12-24 hours or less.

You can also request a free at-home testing kit. It will be shipped to you overnight via FedEx. Your results will be available online usually within 1-2 days after your sample arrives at the lab.

Copyright © 2021 ABC11-WTVD-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved – The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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