SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – “With omicron, it comes in really quickly and it also exits relatively quickly as well. So we’re not talking about a three-month exit, like delta.”

As people are headed back to work and school this week, omicron continues to be on people’s minds.

The number of new COVID cases has been at an all-time high.

Infectious disease specialists say people should be bracing for a rough January.

“Given the playbook that we had last year with three holidays stack one on top of another, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year, you can’t really recover at the end of one surge,” Dr. Peter Chin-Hong said. 

UCSF infectious disease specialist Dr. Peter Chin-Hong says we likely haven’t seen the highest cases numbers just yet.

“Cases will continue to rise but then they’ll start to decline,” Dr. Chin-Hong said. 

He says the good thing about omicron compared to delta is people tend to recover more quickly, so numbers should decline more quickly. Until then it might be difficult to find an at-home test or get a PCR test.

“There are lines getting the tests and also delays in getting the results back,” Dr. Chin-Hong said. 

Dr. Chin-Hong says you may have to be resourceful when it comes to finding tests. Keep checking back in stores, go to community centers, and if you have a child in school, check with the district.

Many are giving away free tests.

He says when it comes to your child, you shouldn’t worry about sending them back to school.

“We’re kinda in a relatively okay period for kids right now. Not a lot of kids going into the hospital at the UCSF system for example,” Dr. Chin-Hong said. 

He says the best way you can protect your child is to get them vaccinated. He also says it’s important to mask up.

“The most useful all-purpose mask right now is a surgical mask, or a multi-plied mask,” Dr. Chin-Hong said. 

Dr. Chin-Hong emphasized the mask has to be well fitted.

“If the head is smaller you need to sort of knot the sides here to make it fit snuggly,” Dr. Chin-Hong said. 

If you do test positive he recommends telling those you are in close contact with, as well as your employer or school.

He also says it can be helpful to notify your department of public health for case tracking.