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Philadelphia health officials urge post-election partiers to get COVID-19 tests

Coronavirus test concept

RyanKing999/iStockBy JULIA JACOBO, ABC News

(PHILADELPHIA) — Health officials in Philadelphia are urging people who took to the streets to celebrate President-elect Joe Biden’s apparent win to get tested for COVID-19.

Pennsylvania played a crucial role in the results of the election, which was called for Biden after the battleground state announced its vote tally. Revelers in big cities all over the country partied outdoors in crowds Saturday after the election was called in Biden’s favor.

People also gathered at the Pennsylvania Convention Center for post-election demonstrations Sunday, ABC Philadelphia station WPVI reported.

Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley recommended that anyone who took part in the crowds get tested after a week has passed.

“The recommendation we are making now is that if people are close to other people outside they should be tested seven days later to make sure they haven’t picked up the virus,” Farley said, according to WPVI. “And in the meantime, they should be staying away from other people.”

COVID has an incubation period of up to 14 days, according to the Centers for Disease Control. It can take several days after exposure to the virus before a test will be able to detect an infection.

Demonstrators who spoke to WPVI said they felt safe because most people were wearing masks.

Biden has announced the hiring of a new COVID-19 task force to start formulating an ambitious plan to combat the virus. He said the plan will go into effect immediately after he is sworn in Jan. 20.

“That plan will be built on bedrock science,” Biden said in an address to the nation Saturday.

More than 4,000 new COVID-19 cases were announced by the Pennsylvania Department of Health on Saturday,

Philadelphia city officials are considering restricting activities as the numbers of COVID-19 cases rise, but they have emphasized that the biggest threat remains small private gatherings.

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