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Doctors urge people to follow COVID safety precautions after returning from Spring Break trips

Spring Break may be over, but doctors hope people remember the pandemic isn't.

HOUSTON — Now that Spring Break is over, doctors hope people remember the pandemic isn’t.

Dr. Linda Yancey, an infectious diseases specialist with Memorial Hermann Hospital, says COVID-19 is still widespread in the community so pandemic safety precautions are still necessary.

“If you’ve been out of town interacting with people outside your bubble and you’re coming back into a household with unvaccinated people, you need to protect them for the next 10 days,” Yancey said.

She recommends wearing a mask indoors and quarantining from people who aren’t vaccinated for 10 days.

“Cases have been declining, but that decline is slowing. It looks like we’re going to hit a plateau. We also have variants from all over the world that have come into the U.S. that spread much more readily than the vanilla COVID we’ve been used to,” Yancey said.

All the major variants from the UK, South Africa, Brazil, New York and California are already in Houston. The UK variant is spreading so quickly, the number of cases at Houston Methodist more than doubled in just one week.

Now, health officials say standard COVID-19 tests don’t detect a new variant of concern in France.

“We’re in a race right now between the vaccine and variants. We want the vaccine to win, but that means we have to stack the odds in its favor,” Yancey said.

She says the only thing that will stop new dangerous variants from forming is getting 70%-90% of the population vaccinated.

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