Despite milder illness associated with the omicron variant of the coronavirus, Texans still need to take the virus seriously because of dwindling treatment options and crowded hospitals, Texas doctors said. The Texas Medical Association, which represents more than 56,000 physicians and medical students and is the largest state medical society in the country, published a list on Thursday of preventative measures recommended by member physicians to slow the spread of omicron.
Get vaccinated against COVID-19
Public health experts consider the COVID-19 vaccine and booster to be the best tool for preventing the spread and mutation of the virus.
When you leave your home
“Physically distance yourself, wash your hands frequently and wear your mask anytime you need to be near someone when outside your home,” the Texas Medical Association reported.
Not all masks are created equal. N95 masks are best, followed by KN95 masks. With omicron, surgical and cloth masks offer significantly less protection than with previous COVID-19 variants.
If you gather with others outside your home
The safest gathering places are outdoors or well-ventilated and offer space for distance between people.
If you get exposed to someone with COVID-19
If you were within six feet of someone for at least 15 minutes in 24 hours who tests positive for COVID-19, you should quarantine away from others for five days. After five days, get tested for the virus, even if you don’t have any symptoms. Here is a list of places offering COVID-19 testing in Dallas County.
While quarantining, watch for COVID-19 symptoms. If you have no symptoms after five days, you can wear a well-fitted mask for the next five days whenever you’re near someone.
If you’re fully vaccinated against the virus or had a confirmed case of COVID-19 within the last 90 days, it’s not necessary to quarantine, the Texas Medical Association said. You should still wear a well-fitted mask around others for 10 days and get tested after five.
If you test positive for COVID-19 or become symptomatic
People who test positive for the virus or who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should isolate for at least five days and until you are fever-free and symptoms are improving.
After isolating for five days, if symptoms have improved, you can wear a well-fitted mask for five more days when around others. You should still avoid travel and being around people who are high-risk.
If you have severe symptoms
Isolate for 10 days and talk to your doctor before ending isolation. If you experience any serious symptoms like trouble breathing, seek emergency medical care immediately.