SAN ANTONIO — Many south Texans may think we're out of the pandemic with a fairly low case count, but with high profile citizens like Judge Nelson Wolff and Police Chief William McManus coming down recently with the illness,
Reported case counts may be going up slowly, but now, because of home testing more people likely have COVID than we think. Dr. Jan Patterson an infectious disease specialist with UT Health San Antonio told us, "We actually are hearing about a lot of cases, outpatient cases, seeing a lot of outpatient cases."
When it comes to isolation five days is still recommended with or without symptoms. After those five days you should take a test. If positive you should isolate for five more days. If you are negative and have symptoms that are resolving isolation can end after five days but you should wear a mask until day 10.
Dr. Patterson added, "One thing we know about these variants is that they're very transmissible. So if you are documented to have the virus, if you test positive for COVID, it is important to stay home for that isolation period."
The CDC recently released their COVID-19 community levels" based on the following metrics. The number of new cases per 100,000 people in the community in the past 7 days. The number of new hospitalizations in the past 7 days. And the percentage of staffed inpatient hospital beds are occupied by patients with COVID-19.
Dr. Patterson said, "If you have a high rate of infection, then it's recommended that you are stricter about the mask, protocols and so forth."
Based on the level of risk in your county the CDC mask guidance now says in communities with high levels the CDC says wear a mask indoors. Where the risk level is medium talk to your doctor about wearing a mask if you are at an increased risk to get COVID-19. In areas with low level no masking is recommended.
Dr. Patterson told us, "Especially if you have an immunosuppressive condition or you have a family member that does or you are close to someone that does. It's a good idea to wear a mask when you're in public where there's going to be a lot of people."
To find out what risk level your County is right now go to their website.