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Isolation if you're a direct contact of a test confirmed case of coronavirus

Who this guidance is for

This guidance only applies to those who are considered a ‘direct contact’ of a test-confirmed case of coronavirus. You are considered a ‘direct contact’ if you have been within 2 meters of someone who has recently been confirmed as having the virus (by a test) for 15 minutes or more and without wearing personal protective equipment.

If you are considered a ‘direct contact’ you will have been contacted by the contact tracing team following their interview with the person who has tested positive. This person will have provided details of all people they have recently had contact with who meet the criteria for ‘direct contact’.

If you are worried that you are a direct contact of someone who has tested positive but have not received a call, you can call the helpline on +44 (0) 1534 445566.
 
If you have not been confirmed as a direct contact, but you:

Isolation guidance for when you are confirmed as a direct contact

If you have recently been confirmed as a direct contact of a test-confirmed case of coronavirus, someone from the contact tracing team will have been in touch to notify you of this. During this call, they will have advised you that you are required to isolate yourself at home or another more suitable location in accordance with this guidance.

Do not go to work, school, or public areas, and do not use public transport or taxis or go outside to exercise. You should not go out even to buy food or other essentials.

Staying in isolation if you have been in direct contact with the virus is essential to prevent the spread of the virus to family, friends, the wider community and the most vulnerable.

If you live alone

When you are informed that you have been in direct contact with a positive case, you must isolate for a minimum of 14 days from the date you were last in direct contact with that person.

If you start to show symptoms during this time, you need to then follow the guidance for symptomatic household isolation, which will start a new timeline for your isolation period. The new isolation period you will need to follow is for a minimum of 7 days from the onset of symptoms and to remain in isolation until 48 hours after symptoms have cleared or had substantially improved and you no longer have a fever.

If you do develop symptoms during the 14-day period, you should call the helpline on +44 (0)1534 445566.

If you live as part of a household

If you are isolating because you are a direct contact and you live with others who have also been confirmed as direct contacts, then all who are confirmed as contacts must isolate at home for 14 days, if none of you are showing symptoms.

If you are isolating because you are a direct contact and you live with others who have not been confirmed as direct contacts, it is only you that needs to remain in isolation at home. Everyone else in the home who is not a direct contact can leave the house so long as a they continue to follow the latest advice for the island-wide ‘stay home’ instruction which includes continuing to practice social distancing when permitted to be outside the home.

However, if you or anyone else you live with develops symptoms of coronavirus at any point, you must then all isolate at home together, in accordance with the advice for symptomatic households.

If you or other members of the household develop symptoms during the 14 day period, you should call the helpline on +44 (0)1534 445566.

If you need to isolate because of direct contact

Any person from the household who has been confirmed as a direct contact should to isolate themselves in a part of the house that is as separate from everyone else, in a different room where possible.

It also means:

  • where possible, do not share bathrooms or kitchen space. If this is not possible, try to use a rota and ensure touch points are cleaned frequently and between uses
  • eating meals in isolated rooms and not socialising with other members of the household

It is important to follow this guidance because there is a high risk that someone who has been in direct contact with a positive case of the virus is already infected and may pass this on to those inside or outside of the home. Staying in isolation for a minimum of 14 days or until the infection has passed will greatly reduce the overall amount of infection you could pass on to members of your household or others in the community.

Whilst in isolation because of direct contact with a confirmed case, do not go to work, school, or public areas, and do not use public transport or taxis or go outside to exercise (unless you can do this whilst still on your property and can remain a safe distance from anyone who is not from your household). You should not leave home even to buy food or other essentials.

We understand this can be challenging. Help and support is available to you through the ConnectMe service or by calling the helpline: +44 (0) 1534 445566.

Other important principles to follow:

  • as a priority, you need to protect and shield the most vulnerable from the risk of infection
  • if you can, move any severely vulnerable individuals out of your home, to stay with friends or family for the duration of the home isolation period
  • if you cannot move an severely vulnerable person out of your home, stay away from them as much as possible – if you have enough room for the vulnerable person to self-isolate, then they should do so
  • you should also be extra vigilant to keep distance between you and any other vulnerable people who are aged over 65 and/or have other underlying health conditions
  • wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds, each time using soap and water
  • regularly clean all touch points and surfaces in your home
  • if you feel you cannot cope with any symptoms at home, or your condition gets worse, or your symptoms do not get better after 7 days, then contact your GP for advice – make sure you do not visit without calling ahead first. In the case of a medical emergency, dial 999

After your isolation period, you can leave your home so long as you continue to follow the latest advice for the island-wide ‘stay home’ instruction which includes continuing to practice social distancing when permitted to be outside the home.

If you start to show symptoms after you have ended your isolation period, you must restart your isolation period again and call the Helpline +44 (0) 1534 445566

Health care worker exemption from ‘direct contact’ isolation

If you are a health care worker and you have been in direct contact with a confirmed case of the virus for longer than 15 minutes, within 2 meters and without wearing adequate personal protective equipment, you are required to follow this guidance for direct contact isolation for 14 days. However, because of the nature of your work in health care settings, it would not be practical to prevent you from going to work when you are required to do so, so long as you are not showing any symptoms of the virus yourself.

Whether or not you are required to work whilst isolating due to contact with a confirmed case should be at the discretion of your employer. Your employer should make a judgement that takes into consideration the proportionality and acceptability of risk and whether or not the health care setting already has COVID-19 infection.

If you are asked to return to work whilst isolating due to direct contact, you should first discuss this with your employer and confirm whether or not you are showing symptoms of the virus.

If you are not showing symptoms of the virus and it is agreed that you should return to work, you may do so subject to the following:

  • upon arrival to the care setting, you must wear a surgical mask when entering the building and wear one at all times whilst at work
  • breaks should be taken separately from others, but you should not leave the building
  • you will wear the appropriate additional PPE when specific work activities require you to do so
  • you should not lift share or use public transport to get to and from work. If you do not have access to transport and it is too far to walk, you should discuss this with your employer
  • you must strictly follow social distancing at all times whilst travelling to and from work and during your breaks
  • other than travelling to and from work, you must ensure that you continue to isolate in accordance with the direct contact guidance.

You cannot return to work if you are living with someone who has a confirmed case of coronavirus or if you are showing any symptoms of the virus.

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