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GUIDE: Shortened Isolation, Quarantine for COVID-Positive, Close Contacts

Shorter isolation for the fully vaccinated.
by Pia Regalado
Jan 14, 2022
Photo/s: Jerome Ascano
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Fully-vaccinated individuals exposed to COVID-19 cases and those who tested positive for the disease with moderate or no symptoms will spend less time in isolation or quarantine, the Department of Health said Friday.

The updated guidelines take into account how vaccines lower the chance of infection, severe symptoms, and death, Health Usec. Maria Rosario Vergeire said. While COVID cases surged due to the Omicron variant, most of the patients are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms, she said.

"Ayon sa ating mga eksperto, naniniwala sila na para sa Omicron variant, ang benepisyo ng pagpapaiksi ng quarantine ay mas matimbang kung ikukumpara ito sa mga risk na puwedeng mangyari," Vergeire said in a Laging Handa briefing.

Here's the updated isolation and quarantine guide from the DOH:

For close contacts of people with COVID

The updated quarantine period for close contacts, or those exposed to COVID-positive persons differs according to vaccination status.

  • For the fully vaccinated with no symptoms: five days
  • For the partially vaccinated or unvaccinated: 14 days
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Close contacts must monitor symptoms up to 14 days, wear well-fitting masks, and follow minimum public health standards.

Fully-vaccinated healthcare workers with no symptoms must also quarantine for five days. Medical frontliners who received their booster shots can skip quarantine based on the risk and benefits assessment of the hospital or facility where they are working, DOH said.

For the COVID-positive with mild or moderate symptoms, asymptomatic

COVID-19 cases without symptoms, including medical frontliners, must isolate based on their date of test.

  • Fully vaccinated: seven days from date of test
  • Partially vaccinated or unvaccinated: 10 days from date of test

Fully-vaccinated individuals including healthcare workers will have to isolate for one week from the onset of symptoms if they are:

  • COVID-probable with symptoms
  • COVID-positive with mild symptoms

Partially-vaccinated or unvaccinated persons including healthcare workers need to isolate for 10 days from onset of symptoms if they are:

  • COVID-probable with symptoms
  • COVID-positive with mild symptoms
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Regardless of vaccination status, those experiencing moderate symptoms will have to isolate for 10 days from onset of symptoms.

Healthcare workers who are fully-vaccinated with boosters can isolate for up to five days based on the risk and benefits assessment of the hospital or facility where they are working, DOH said.

For severe and critical cases, those with weak immune systems

COVID-19 patients, including healthcare workers, considered severe or critical cases must isolate for 21 days from onset of symptoms regardless of vaccination status.

Those who are immunocompromised or with autoimmune disease, HIV, cancer or malignancy, transplant patients, undergoing steroid treatment, patients with poor prognosis and bedridden patients are also required to isolate for 21 days from onset of symptoms with a negative repeat RT-PCR test.

The DOH said these people can end their isolation upon completion of the required days as long as they do not develop fever for at least 24 hours without medications and have improvement of symptoms, Vergeire said.

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