HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) – With families gathering for Thanksgiving and Black Friday, health departments are urging residents to remember to get tested for COVID-19 before heading back to work.

Based on past holiday trends, the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department (KCHD) says they expect to see longer lines for people wanting to get tested.  

What days will the KCHD be open for testing after Thanksgiving?

“We are prepared. Monday – Friday, 8 am until 3 pm. We offer testing and vaccinations at the health department. So, when folks are ready to get back to work, starting on Monday, we’ll be there to test,” says Robby Queen, the Director of Operations with KCHD.

Queen says they’re encouraging all residents to get tested as the health department has found ways to adjust their staff for the need.

“As we see the need for testing increase, we will add capacity to the health department to increase testing – the same goes with vaccinations,”

Robby Queen, Kanawha-Charleston Health Department Director of Operations

The Cabell-Huntington Health Department says they expect to see longer lines in Cabell County as well and will be providing testing on the following days:

  • Saturday, November 27th: 12pm – 4pm
  • Sunday, November 28th: 12pm – 4pm

The Cabell County Health Department will also have a vaccination center open Tuesday, November 30th, 8 am-4 pm, at the Huntington Mall.

Is it okay to wait before getting tested?

“If you’re unvaccinated, it’s very important to come get a test and confirm that you had not contracted COVID-19 throughout the holiday. Once you have had a significant exposure, it does take 3-5 days to possibly get that positive test. So, after the return from the holiday travel it’s prime time to get the test. We do send the test off it takes about 35-76 hours to get the results,” explains Queen.

He also says while testing is encouraged, he reminds residents that the vaccine is “still important in protecting yourself and your loved ones from getting this virus.”