ANDERSON, SC (WSPA) – COVID testing sites across the Upstate are seeing a slight surge before the holiday weekend. Health officials encourage taking extra precautions if you plan to spend the holidays at gatherings or with multiple households. Before the gift giving starts, health officials say get tested.

“We know that we can have a busy holiday season with travel so with the omicron variant on the horizon, we do need to take all the precautions we can,” AnMed Health Director of ICU Dr. Syed Malik said.

Most COVID testing sites see an increase in visitors right before a holiday and this Christmas weekend is no different, with most getting results are back within 24 to 48 hours. 

“It is too late to get vaccinated or to get your booster in time for this upcoming weekend. However, we still have a lot of winter left to go so we very much encourage everyone who has not done so to get vaccinated and get your booster shot,” DHEC Public Health Director Dr. Brannon Traxler said.

While precautions like face masks, distancing and proper ventilation at crowded events are encouraged, knowing your COVID status will help you be more prepared.

“I think it would be helpful to have your test results before you travel, so you can travel with peace of mind,” Dr. Malik said.

DHEC officials say if you missed the timeframe for drive up testing, “at- home” COVID testing kits can help if you can find them.

“This is a good kind of testing to do especially the morning you’re going to get together with people outside your household. Make certain that you read the directions very carefully and follow the directions to a tee, because that’s how you can get the best chance of getting accurate results with these,” Dr. Traxler said.

Anyone who may be sick or has symptoms should stay home and away from others.