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Isolating and quarantining properly with omicron raging | Wear the Gown

Even with shortened isolation and quarantine you still need to take it seriously and do it right.

SAN ANTONIO — Thanks to the massive surge in Omicron cases across Bexar County many are once again going back to working from home. Those who are still working in the office or also finding themselves at home when they test positive for the coronavirus. 

There seems to be a lot of confusion surrounding the words quarantining, and isolating, even close to two years into the pandemic. If you've been exposed to the virus that is when you quarantine and you don't go anywhere. Dr. Jason Bowling is an infectious disease specialist with University Health System and Associate Professor of Infectious Disease with UT Health San Antonio. 

"You've been exposed if you have been within six feet of someone else as positive COVID for at least 15 minutes in a 24 hour time period," he said. "And that means that you may not be infected yet, but you could get infected. You could be in that incubation period right before you get infected."  

Dr. Bowling also says if you test positive for the virus that is when you isolate yourself at home. 

"But that can come with challenges because if you live with other people, what are you supposed to do? Ideally, you stay in a room, but by yourself," he said. "And if you can have a dedicated bathroom, if you're going to be around other people." 

If it is hard to isolate yourself in a room you should be wearing a mask to try to reduce the risk of exposure or transmission to others in the household. And all other household members should be wearing one too. 

"If you have access to a surgical mask or a barrier mask, that's ideal," Dr. Bowling explained. "If you have a cloth mask, make sure it's at least two layers. It fits well against your face. But please wear that if you're going to be around people that you don't know because the risk right now in the San Antonio area is very high."  

Medical professionals are already so bogged with patients, and as the cases numbers rise they need your help. 

"We're getting geared up for hospitalizations and everything else that we've seen with our prior surges. What we need for the community is everybody's help wearing the masks, avoiding large crowds, staying home if you're sick," Dr. Bowling added.   

Dr. Bowling also says to get that booster, and if you haven't gotten a vaccine, is not too late. 

For more information on family health call 210-358-3045. You can also find the rest of our Wear The Gown stories, just go to WearTheGown.com.