From 14 days to 10 days to seven days. But there’s also the period of 21 days. Let’s get things clear.
The Department of Health has laid down new guidelines – implementation starting January 13—regarding the health protocols, particularly isolation of COVID-19 positive individuals, following the surge of infections during the past few days post celebration of the New Year.
DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire has stressed the isolation of COVID-19 positive individuals with “symptoms, asymptomatic, and mild cases had been reduced to seven days from onset of symptoms if the person is fully vaccinated.”
A downgrade from the previous duration of 10 days and an even earlier number of 14 days after the health emergency waved an unforgiving scythe of infections and deaths.
But 10 days isolation is retained for those partially vaccinated or unvaccinated, and those with moderate symptoms regardless of vaccination status.
Vergeire, however, has told a forum that the isolation period has been retained to 21 days “for those with severe and critical disease, and those immunocompromised.”
Meanwhile, hospitals can shorten the isolation of their respective healthcare workers if necessary.
At the same time “testing of asymptomatic close contacts will also not be required unless symptoms will develop,” according to health authorities, but that individuals are being reminded to continue monitoring their symptoms, wearing their masks, and implementing minimum public health standards for 14 days.
Vergeire has underlined that fully vaccinated healthcare workers who were exposed to a COVID-19 positive person – ”for the sake of uniformity, they will follow the five days quarantine similar to the general public.”
“We will also retain that hospital prevention and control committees can further shorten healthcare workers with boosters – their quarantine can be shortened weighing specific situations, risks, and benefits,” Vergeire has said.
We cannot over-emphasize the need for quarantine or isolation to protect our health and that of the community – whether people thus isolated have moderate symptoms, regardless of vaccination status.
But while there is a downgrade to X number of days, that should not be a reason to be insouciant with that devil-may-care attitude, in the mistaken belief that the virus is dying if it is not yet dead.
The danger still has an intimidating presence.