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How Memphis Residents Can Stay Safe From COVID-19 During 2022 Holidays

How Memphis, Germantown, and Winston-Salem Residents Can Stay Safe from COVID-19 During 2022 Holidays

It’s now been more than two years since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic. You’re probably no stranger to preparing for holiday travel during the pandemic. While you may be familiar with the regulations that were put in place due to COVID-19 in previous years, we’re now facing a different stage of COVID-19 that is different from the waves we experienced in 2021 and 2020

We’ve seen the emergence of several different COVID-19 variants, all with different behaviors and epidemiological significance. As part of our commitment to keeping you and your loved ones safe, our team is here to share a few expert tips to maximize your chances of staying safe as we enter the third pandemic holiday season. 

Check out these expert recommendations to maximize your chances of staying healthy during this holiday season.

Plan Ahead With COVID-19 Testing in Memphis, Germantown, and Winston-Salem

This holiday, planning and booking ahead is everything. You can begin by plotting your itinerary and making plans for every step and every activity during your travels. This includes knowing your personal risk status and the pre-existing health conditions of every person you’re traveling with. 

In addition, you should research the local medical care that will be available in your destination in case you get sick while you’re there. 

It’s also important to familiarize yourself with the various COVID-19-related travel restrictions and requirements. Keep in mind that these requirements change from time to time and vary from country to country and at the interstate level. 

When booking your lodging and other accommodations, you need to consider the location and the size of the crowd that will be there as well. Large and high-rise hotels with multiple shared spaces, elevators, and pools can increase your risk of COVID-19 exposure compared to private spaces. 

Finally, you should familiarize yourself with the individual lodging booking guidelines and policies for lodging during COVID-19. This will keep you and your family prepared. 

Wear a Mask to Protect Against COVID-19 Exposure

Regardless of your mode of travel, you should wear a mask. That means wearing it when you take a plane, ride the train, or hop on a bus. Wearing a high-quality mask around crowds of people is vital in protecting you against COVID-19. Even if you’re the only one wearing one, a good mask that fits snugly over your face and is designed to protect against viruses will reduce the number of infectious particles you breathe in. 

Converging lines of evidence have shown that an N95 respirator offers a high degree of protection. Understandably, wearing a mask for too long can be exhausting, but it will go a long way in protecting you during your trip.

COVID-19 testing in Memphis, Germantown, and Winston-Salem

Practice Physical Distancing

All variants of COVID-19 spread easily through person-to-person contact. Hence, you need to reduce the level of contact with people when you travel. Fortunately, most airlines and other transportation networks have protocols for social distancing. 

Even when you get to your travel destination, you should still continue to keep yourself safe by limiting your contact with people. Try as much as possible to avoid overcrowded spaces and public places. If possible, limit your use of shared spaces such as elevators, public pools, and bathrooms. 

While following these precautions may limit the total number of hours you spend in certain places you may love to visit, it is worth it in the end. However, there are many other ways you can keep yourself and your family entertained without exposing yourselves to COVID-19. For example, you can camp, go for a hike, or spend time at a quiet beach. All in all, limiting the amount of time you spend outdoors and minimizing contact with others will reduce your COVID-19 exposure.

Keep Your Hands Clean

Keeping your hands clean sounds simple, but it is often overlooked. As a matter of fact, handwashing is one of the best ways to protect yourself from COVID-19. One of the best ways to keep your hands clean is by washing your hands with soap and warm water. 

If soap and water are not available, you can also clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. You should be cleaning your hands throughout the day, especially after returning from a public place, before you leave the bathroom, and after you touch an object. 

Some of the most common surfaces people touch without thinking about it include railings, countertops, and cash. You should also wash your hands after coughing or sneezing to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in case you have it.

Stay Informed About Your Destination’s COVID-19 Related Data

Before you travel, it’s important to stay updated on the various COVID-19 travel requirements and policies. Just as we mentioned earlier, these requirements often vary from country to country or state to state, and they change frequently. 

For instance, some states or countries may require those coming in from hotspot zones to quarantine for two weeks upon their arrival. You may need to check if your destination enforces stay-at-home orders. The United States Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) regularly stay on top of these changing requirements.  

Keep Track of Your COVID-19 Symptoms

Paying close attention to your symptoms is one of the best ways to keep yourself and your family safe during the holidays. You should alway be on the lookout for symptoms such as congestion, coughing, sore throat, headaches, fever, fatigue, muscle pain, and rash. 

If you have any of these symptoms, be sure to get a COVID-19 test so you can determine if you have COVID-19 or another illness like the flu. Unfortunately, it’s common to confuse the symptoms of COVID-19 with flu symptoms. Fortunately, you can accurately determine your status with a dual flu and COVID-19 rapid antigen test in Memphis, Germantown, and Winston-Salem.

One of the biggest symptoms you should watch out for is suddenly losing your sense of smell or taste. Keep in mind, however, that certain COVID variants–such as the BA.5–are less likely to cause you to lose your sense of taste and smell. Everyone handles the virus differently, and you need to consider the COVID-19 risk status of the people you’re traveling with and the condition of those you’re visiting. 

As a pro tip, you may want to consider investing in a pandemic essentials bag. In this bag, you will need to stock up on pandemic essentials like latex gloves, facemasks, and hand sanitizers. Your pandemic essentials bag should also include health insurance cards and COVID-19 rapid testing kit thermometers.

Get Tested for COVID-19 in Memphis, Germantown, & Winston-Salem Before You Travel

Get a Same Day COVID Test in Memphis, Germantown, & Winston-Salem Before You Travel

Whether you show symptoms or not, you should always get tested for COVID-19 before you travel. Besides COVID tests now being a requirement for certain airlines and popular destination countries and states, they’re also an important part of keeping yourself and your family safe. 

For your COVID-19 test results to be as accurate as possible, you should get tested as close to the time of your departure as possible before your trip. At Rapid Care Testing, we can provide you with a convenient, same day COVID-19 test in Memphis, Germantown, and Winston-Salem. Schedule an appointment with us today!


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Everything Memphis Residents Should Know About The Different COVID-19 Variants

Everything Memphis Residents Should Know About The Different COVID-19 Variants in Memphis, Germantown, and Winston-Salem

Viruses behave in very complex ways. Their unpredictability is the reason why we’ve seen so many different strains and variants of SARS-CoV-2: the virus that is responsible for COVID-19. 

Since the beginning of the pandemic, experts have been monitoring changes in COVID-19 so they can understand it and find ways to control the spread of the virus. 

In this guide, we will be discussing the biggest COVID-19 variants, how they are classified, and why some variants spread faster than others. In addition, we will share information on how these variants affect COVID-19 testing in Memphis, Germantown, and Winston-Salem.

How Do COVID-19 Variants Happen?

When a virus changes, it results in a new variant or strain. These variants occur when there is an alteration (also known as a mutation) in the virus’s genes. According to experts, it is normal for an RNA virus like COVID-19 to change gradually or evolve. 

These mutations can help the variant spread more easily or make it more resistant to vaccines and antivirals. Thankfully, by understanding the different COVID-19 variants, we can track the spread of all variants and provide information to protect people from severe illness. 

COVID-19 testing in Memphis, Germantown, and Winston-Salem

How COVID-19 Variants Are Classified

Using genetic or epidemiological evidence, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have classified COVID-19 variants into four different categories:

Variants Being Monitored (VBM)

These types of variants pose little to no risk to public health because they’re circulating at very low levels. 

However, these variants have also developed specific genetic markers that limit the effectiveness of the antibodies that form from a previous infection or the COVID-19 vaccine. These changes may reduce the efficacy of treatments and increase the transmission, or severity, of the disease.

Variants of Concern (VOC)

Variants of concern show evidence of increased transmissibility and virulence. In addition, they have the potential to cause detrimental changes in current COVID-19 epidemiology. 

Furthermore, if they begin to spread fast, they can cause a huge change in the current clinical disease presentation of the virus. Lastly, they have the potential to decrease the effectiveness of public health measures such as vaccination efforts, therapeutics, and current diagnostics. 

Variants of Interest

A variant of interest is an even more threatening type of SARS-CoV-2 variant that has led to significant community transmission in multiple geographic regions with rising prevalence. The emergence of this type of variant suggests an emerging risk to global public health.

Variants of High Consequence

These types of variants have shown a significant impact on spread and severity. In addition, they reduce the effectiveness of available treatments, testing, and vaccinations.

Understanding the Key COVID-19 Variants

Since the beginning of the pandemic, numerous variants have emerged and are being tracked nationally and globally to help us monitor their spread. The most impactful COVID-19 variants include:

The Omicron Variant and Its Sub-Variants

The Omicron variant was identified by the World Health Organization (WHO) in November 2021 and was categorized as a Variant of Concern. Within just a few weeks, the Omicron variant quickly became one of the most dominant SARS-CoV-2 variants worldwide. Since then, we’ve seen the emergence of several sub-variants that have emerged from the Omicron variant. 


Some of these sub-variants include BA.2, BA.3, BA.4, and BA.5. According to the CDC, BA.4 appears to be the most contagious COVID-19 variant. Meanwhile, the BA.5 variant was the most dominant strain in the US around the summer of 2022. Despite being described as a variant of concern, however, the Omicron variant seems to cause less cases of severe illness compared to earlier variants.

The Delta Variant

The Delta variant has lineages that are described as “B.1.617.2” lineages and “AY” lineages. 

The Delta variant was also once categorized as a variant of concern. However, on April 14, 2022, the SARS-CoV-2 Interagency Group (SIG) downgraded the Delta variant from a Variant of Concern to a Variant Being Monitored. 

It has since reduced its spread across multiple populations over time. Data suggests that the Delta variant does not currently pose any significant public health risk. Despite being highly contagious, the COVID-19 vaccine is highly effective against it.

The Beta Variant

The Beta variant was first detected in South Africa in August 2020. Currently, it is categorized as a Variant of Concern. The Beta variant appears to be more contagious and easy to spread due to two specific mutations: N501Y and E484K

Just as with the other versions of COVID-19 variants, the risk for severe infections with this variant is highest for elderly people and people with a compromised immune system or a pre-existing health condition.

The Alpha Variant

The Alpha variant was the first highly publicized COVID-19 variant after its appearance in Great Britain in November 2020. In December of that year, infections surged and then spread further around the world until the Alpha variant became the dominant variant in the US. However, with the rise of the more aggressive Delta variant, the Alpha variant faded away slowly.

COVID-19 Test in Memphis, Germantown, and Winston-Salem

The Impact of COVID-19 Variants on COVID-19 Testing

As we’ve seen many times in the past, the COVID-19 virus has the ability to mutate over and over again, which can affect its spread, transmissibility, and the severity of symptoms in affected individuals. Fortunately, COVID-19 tests such as PCR-Tests, Rapid Antigen Tests, Dual Flu and COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Tests, and the Rapid Antibody Test are designed to detect all known COVID-19 variants. 

Schedule an Appointment for COVID-19 Testing in Memphis, Germantown, & Winston-Salem

Catching COVID-19 in its early stages is key to preventing severe illness. That’s why our mission is to help you monitor and protect yourself. We prioritize following the standard protocols for same-day COVID-19 testing in Memphis, Germantown, and Winston-Salem

If you think you may have COVID-19, or you need to test for a COVID-19 travel requirement, schedule an appointment with us today. We will be happy to receive you.