State leaders urge people to get tested for COVID-19 ahead of Thanksgiving

State leaders urge people to get tested for COVID-19 ahead of Thanksgiving

MURRELLS INLET, SC (WMBF) - After a dip in cases following South Carolina’s peak this summer, cases are once again rising in the state and across the country.

But with Thanksgiving less than a week away, people like John and Joanie Rickenbacker are still planning to travel.

“We’re going to our son’s house in Aiken, South Carolina. We have a son and daughter and they both have families,” said John Rickenbacker, who got tested for COVID-19 on Saturday at St. James High School.

This week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced its recommendation that people should not consider traveling for Thanksgiving, especially if cases are high where they live, or where they’re planning to go. The CDC also advised that those at high risk should stay home.

Still, after a tough year, many want to gather with their extended family. Gov. Henry McMaster is now urging anyone who will travel to test negative before going, whether they fly or drive.

Other state leaders are also joining the call for more testing to be done before the holiday.

“People are going to gather, and a lot of people are being responsible about it,” said state Rep. Russell Fry. “Getting a test and doing everything you can proactively, heading into Thanksgiving, seems like a really good step.”

The Rickenbacker’s said while they don’t have any symptoms, they got tested just to be safe.

“It’ll be quite a few people and we’re a little uncomfortable about that. We just want to make sure before we go,” said John Rickenbacker.

Saturday’s event at St. James High School had the capacity to test hundreds. Rep. Fry helped host the DHEC-sponsored event and further echoed the governor’s message.

“We see numbers certainly surging in the state,” he said. “But human interaction is important, people interacting with family is important we have a lot to be thankful for in this country.”

For more information on testing and to find a clinic or event near you, click here.

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