COVINGTON, Ky. — Demand for COVID-19 tests is expected to skyrocket as people return home from Thanksgiving festivities. One lab in Covington is processing the tests for much of the Tri-State.
For the second Thanksgiving in a row, Gravity Diagnostics is filled with scientists relentlessly working to slow the spread of America's leading public emergency.
"We've perfected the process over the past year," said Jeff Wellens, Gravity Diagnostics' director of field services.
The lab has processed more than 3 million COVID tests for the Tri-State, and the company is bracing for an influx of tests to arrive within the next week as people return from holiday travel.
Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff recommended everyone get a test after holiday gatherings, especially those who got the vaccine earlier this year but have yet to get their booster.
"Many, many people who get COVID-19 have minimal to no symptoms yet can spread the virus to other people," Vanderhoff said. "Those folks could have a mild infection and not even know."
College students returning to campus after fall break are encouraged to get a test before going to class. The University of Cincinnati reported this week 40% of students at its Blue Ash and Clermont campuses are not vaccinated, and 12% unvaccinated at its Clifton campus.
Grade school students unable to get the vaccine are also getting tests.
"Some of the public schools that we support they have a program known as test-to-stay," Wellens said.
The lab's team has the capacity to test more than 1,000 tests in a matter of hours. The state pays for it through tax dollars, and until more people get tested, doctors predict the holiday surge in cases and testing will continue.
According to the CDC, people should get tested five to seven days after they think they may have contracted the virus.