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Covid, this is what self-surveillance is and what is meant by “close contact”. Download the circular

Covid, this is what self-surveillance is and what is meant by “close contact”.

The decree-law of 30 December 2021, n. 229, introduced new quarantine rules for the so-called “close contacts” of people who tested positive for Covid. Here are the indications of the circular of the Ministry of Health and the Faq published on the Msal website.

What is the definition of “contact”

A contact of a COVID-19 case is any person exposed to a probable or confirmed case of COVID-19 within a period of time ranging from 48 hours before the onset of symptoms up to 14 days after or until the time of diagnosis and case isolation.

If the case has no symptoms, contact is defined as a person who has had contact with the index case within a period of time ranging from 48 hours prior to the collection of the sample leading to confirmation and up to 14 days after or up to the moment. of the diagnosis and isolation of the case.

Quarantine and its alternative modalities

The quarantine must be applied to the categories and in the manner indicated below:

Close contacts (HIGH RISK)

1) Subjects not vaccinated or who have not completed the primary vaccination course (ie they have received only one dose of the two planned vaccines) or who have completed the primary vaccine course for less than 14 days: the current extent of the planned quarantine remains unchanged in the duration of 10 days from the last exposure to the case, at the end of which period a molecular or antigen test is performed with a negative result;

2) Subjects who have completed the primary vaccination cycle for more than 120 days, and who still have the green pass valid, if asymptomatic: the quarantine lasts 5 days, provided that a molecular test is performed at the end of this period o antigenic with negative result;

3) Asymptomatic subjects who:

  • * have received the booster dose, or
    * have completed the primary vaccination course within the previous 120 days, or
    * have recovered from SARS-CoV-2 infection within the previous 120 days, quarantine does not apply and it is compulsory to wear FFP2 type respiratory protection devices for at least 10 days from the last exposure to the case. The self-monitoring period ends on day 5.

What is self-surveillance

L’self-monitoring (or self-diagnosis) does not oblige a person to have had a close contact with a positive to stay at home waiting to see if he has contracted the virus or not, but has the possibility to go out and live “normally” respecting some precautions.

  • * For five days following close contact with a positive the person (who has been vaccinated or recovered for less than 120 days, or who has already received the third dose) can leave without having to observe any quarantine, but must make a self-diagnosis of his state of health;
  • * A rapid or molecular antigen test is scheduled to detect the Sars-Cov-2 antigen at the first appearance of symptoms (including cold) and, if still symptomatic, on the fifth day following the date of the last close contact with subjects confirmed positive for Covid 19.

The tests can also be carried out in authorized private centers, but the operator who carries out the analyzes and the diagnosis must transmit the negative report to the ASL of reference, in order to allow the end of the self-monitoring.

4) Healthcare professionals must swab on a daily basis until the fifth day after the last contact with an infected person.

What is low-risk contact and what is expected

For contacts a LOW RISK, if they have always worn surgical masks or FFP2, quarantine is not necessary but the common 5 sanitary precautions must be maintained. If the use of the faceplate cannot be guaranteed, such contacts will need to be passively monitored.

By low risk contact, as per ECDC indications, we mean a person who has had one or more of the following exposures:

  • * a person who has had direct (face-to-face) contact with a COVID-19 case, at a distance of less than 2 meters and for less than 15 minutes;
    * a person who has been in an enclosed environment (e.g. classroom, meeting room, hospital waiting room) or who has traveled with a COVID-19 case for less than 15 minutes;
    * all passengers and crew of a flight in which a COVID-19 case was present, with the exception of passengers seated within two seats in any direction with respect to the COVID-19 case, travel companions and section staff plane / train where the index case was sitting that high risk contacts remain classified;
    * a healthcare worker or other person providing direct assistance to a COVID-19 case or laboratory staff handling samples of a COVID-19 case, equipped with recommended PPE.

Isolation

As for infected subjects who have previously received the booster dose, or who have completed the vaccination course for less than 120 days, the isolation can be reduced from 10 to 7 days, provided that they have always been asymptomatic, or have been asymptomatic for at least 3 days and on the condition that, at the end of this period, a molecular or antigen test is performed with a negative result.

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