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PCHD suggests returning travelers quarantine and mask up

Posted at 5:36 PM, Nov 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-29 07:38:11-05

TUCSON, Ariz. — Despite the warnings to avoid traveling to see family and friends for Thanksgiving, many did just that.

Pima County Health Director Theresa Cullen is suggesting all travelers quarantine for ten to 14 days when they return to town. She added if travelers must leave their homes they should mask up.

“The concern right now is that our numbers are so high. I hate to say it like this, but we don't know how high they can get,” she explained.

Just last week, Cullen said Pima County hit a record for the highest number of COVID-19 cases in a week to date: 3,313 cases.

She explained Pima County is prepared because they have surge plans in place. However, she says it takes more than available beds, hospitals need staff to monitor patients in those beds.

She anticipates Pima County hospitals will be in trouble if the trend continues.

“There's no reason to think if we have accelerated numbers of people that require intensive care, even if they're not on a ventilator, and they require intensive one on one care with very close monitoring of what's wrong with them- that we will not be in trouble,“ she explained.

Although many might think a COVID-19 test clears them from quarantining, Cullen says that's not the case. That’s because the virus could be incubating in your system.

“Maybe they had most of their social gatherings on Thanksgiving. So Monday is four days out, they test negative, they think they're fine, we would want to remind people that are not necessarily longer in that warranty period for you to show symptoms and test positive with tests that are available," she said.

If you need to get tested for COVID-19, there will be a pop-up testing center at Tucson Estates Monday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. You can find other testing locations here.