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A variety of COVID-19 testing sites throughout Tennessee will hold extended hours Monday in preparation for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.

The 35 participating county health departments will be open for free testing from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. local time on Nov. 23 and Nov. 30, Dr. Lisa Piercey, commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Health, announced.

The state hopes to return all test results within 48 hours, Piercey said.

"We're offering this extended testing event in preparation for holiday closures at our local health departments over the Thanksgiving holiday, as well as to make sure people know their status and make informed decisions in the coming days," she said.

In Southeast Tennessee, the Bradley County, Franklin County, McMinn County and Rhea County health departments will participate with extended hours.

Hamilton County Health Department is not participating in the effort but has offered testing seven days a week since April. Its testing location, at the Alstom site on Riverfront Parkway, is open from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. most days. The site will be closed on Nov. 26 and 27 and will reopen on Nov. 28.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urge Americans not to celebrate Thanksgiving with people outside of their households as cases surge throughout wide swaths of the nation. Travel increases the chance of contracting or spreading COVID-19. Celebrating virtually, or only with other members of the same household, poses the lowest risk, the CDC advised.

Contact Wyatt Massey at wmassey@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6249. Follow him on Twitter @news4mass.

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