Should I get a COVID-19 self test? Even if I don’t have any symptoms?

It’s all about the “bubble”! First, some definitions:

Your “bubble”:  Your home and anyone who occupies it – family, room mates, or friends who live with you.

Your “extended bubble”:  Your workplace and co-workers or any group that you regularly meet with.

This holiday season, and at anytime until the pandemic ends, the answer is YES if:

  1. You are visiting with family or friends (at their place) who are outside of your bubble.
  2. You have family and friends over (to your place) who are outside of your bubble.
  3. You learn that anyone in your extended bubble has recently visited with people outside of their bubble, and you are masked but unable to stay 6 feet apart OR you are unmasked while you are in that extended bubble.

Basically, we need to (wait for it)…”think outside of our bubbles”. Ugh. Sorry.

We are all weary of this pandemic and we miss our family and friends. During this holiday season, many are giving in – traveling and gathering with others who do not live with them, despite the CDC and health experts advising against it. People without symptoms can and do spread the virus without knowing – this is “asymptomatic transmission”.

Evidence cited in JAMA (the Journal of the American Medical Association) shows that recommendations for separations of 3 to 6 feet (1-2 m) may underestimate the distance, so if you can answer “yes” to any of the above, please get tested. Doing this, whether you are showing symptoms or not, assists public health officials with contact tracing and the data collected helps with pandemic management. Please take advantage of the opportunity to save a life, and to help get the virus under control in our community.

How many of us are staying as safe as we can – at home with family only and haven’t seen our loved ones since what seems like ages ago, but we can answer yes to #3?

Ok, I’m convinced. I might have no symptoms and could seriously harm someone that I love or even someone I don’t know. Now…

Where in Nashua can I get one?

Rite Aid, 331 Main St., Nashua, NH 03060. Available for everyone – whether exhibiting symptoms or not. Children under 18 must have parental or guardian approval.

When: Mon-Fri from 10AM – 8PM; Sat-Sun from 10AM -5PM. Testing will NOT be available on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday 11-26-2020 or on Friday, 11-27-2020.

How: To pre-register online, visit Rite Aid is expanding its free coronavirus testing after extending a partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.