Health Announces Changes to Isolation and Quarantine Guidelines for COVID-19 – NBC Puerto Rico

The Secretary of the Department of Health, Carlos Mellado López, announced this Sunday changes in the Guide for the Investigation of Cases and Tracing of Contacts by COVID-19.

It establishes reduced periods of isolation and quarantine. The recommendations are for both public and private sector workers. It also includes students from educational institutions.

The isolation period will take into consideration the vaccination status and the manifestation of symptoms, whether mild, moderate or severe, and asymptomatic patients.

“In line with the provisions of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), we have aligned the time periods for quarantines and isolation to prevent any confusion on the subject and to be able to focus on access to vaccines and treatments. people infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, especially populations at risk”Mellado López pointed out.

On the other hand, the period for quarantine will depend on the vaccination status of the person who was exposed with a positive case to COVID-19. Close contacts with up-to-date vaccinations do not have to quarantine, but must have a viral test on the 5th day after exposure and continue symptom monitoring for ten (10) days after last exposure.

In the case of people who do not have their vaccination series up to date or are not vaccinated, they must quarantine for a period of five (5) days. On the 5th day they should have a viral test, if the result is negative, they can return to their daily activities. While you are waiting for the result, you should not assume that the result will be negative, so you should continue to quarantine and monitor your symptoms for 10 days.

As explained by the Secretary of Health, the Guidelines now recommend the following:

·Asymptomatic person with up-to-date vaccination: your isolation period is 5 days after receiving your positive antigen or molecular test result. You can resume normal activities on day 6. You must wear a mask that covers your nose, mouth, and chin at all times from day 6 to day 10.

·Person with mild to moderate symptoms with up-to-date vaccination: You must remain in isolation for 7 days after the onset of symptoms. The person must continue to wear their mask completely covering their nose, mouth, and chin at all times from day 8 to day 10.

·Person without vaccination: You must keep 10 days of isolation from the onset of symptoms or first positive test. You can resume daily activities from day 11.

·People with severe symptoms, immunocompromised people or pregnant women: The period of isolation will be determined in consultation with your health service provider.

“It is important to emphasize the difference between isolation and quarantine as it can cause confusion. Isolation is refraining from any activity including not going to work, school, using public transportation, or shopping after having a positive viral test. It is staying at home and not having physical contact with others. This helps us reduce the possibility of contagion from other people. In the case of quarantine, it is carried out by people who had close contact with a person sick with COVID-19. This means that she was at a distance of less than 6 feet for 15 minutes or more cumulatively in a 24-hour period, ”emphasized Dr. Melissa Marzán, Chief Epidemiology Officer.

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