RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – On Tuesday, the White House COVID Response Team recommended people take a COVID test before gathering or traveling this holiday season, especially if spending extended periods of time indoors with unvaccinated young children or the elderly.

“We have gained knowledge and experience from addressing other variants such as delta and we have far more science, tools and treatment options available,” said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

The advisory comes as 200,000 new COVID cases are being reported across the country, more than 2,000 of them reported in North Carolina, all while the new omicron variant continues picking up steam.

Meantime, Wake County is ramping up their testing availability ahead of anticipated demand. The county opened an additional 1,900 testing slots per day, bringing the total daily appointments available to 4,900.

“We continue to monitor data, continue to see what’s going on in the community and we will scale up and down accordingly as the conditions dictate,” said Dr. Jose Cabanas, Wake County chief medical officer.

Wake County testing sites are open Monday-Saturday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. with results coming back in 24 hours.