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CDC's new guidance for isolation and quarantine periods as people return to work, school after holidays

On Monday, across the nation, it’s back to school and work for many. But with the omicron surge and more people testing positive for COVID-19, what should we do?

DALLAS — As hospitals across North Texas are starting to open up their COVID units, there's starting to be an increased number of infections. 

On Monday, across the nation, it’s back to school and work for many. But with the omicron surge and more people testing positive for COVID-19, what should we do? 

Many are trying to figure out if one should stay home for five or 10 days. This comes as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has shortened the isolation and quarantine period for the general public.

Over at Lake Highlands high school, dozens lined up to get tested.

This comes as the holidays and the cold weather drove many indoors, causing the number of positive COVID-19 cases to rise.

“We’ve been seeing a pretty rapid number of cases. Most of the transmission occurs like one to two days of onset symptoms, or two to three days after.” said Dr. Philip Huang, the director for Dallas County Health and Human Services.

The CDC recommends, regardless of your vaccination status, if you tested positive, you should isolate for five days.

“The person actually is confirmed to have infection,” said Dr. Huang.

CDC recommends, if you don’t have symptoms, then you can leave the house.

Even after five days, continue to wear a mask.

For people who are exposed to someone with COVID-19, even with a booster shot, they should quarantine and wear a mask for 10 days.

On the fifth day, doctors recommend you get tested.

The CDC says, if you’re exposed to someone with COVID-19, you should quarantine if you’re unvaccinated or get your first shots of the vaccine.

They say you should stay home for five days and wear a mask for an additional five days.

If you can, get tested on the fifth day.

“There has to be some practical considerations,” said Dr. Huang.

Dr. Huang says those considerations are for health care workers, homeless shelters and jails.

“We’re trying to balance that safety from the science. How do we keep operations going in a safe manner,” said Dr. Huang.

In the end, doctors want everyone to get the booster shot and are asking people to keep wearing a mask.

Here is the full list of recommendations by the CDC.