Guidelines for shorter quarantine period COVID-19 cases, close contacts released

The Department of Health (DOH) released the guidelines on shorter quarantine periods for confirmed COVID-19 cases and close contacts.

According to DOH spokesperson Health Undersecretary Ma. Rosario Vergeire, fully vaccinated patients and have mild symptoms, would isolate for seven days from the previous ten days from the onset of symptoms.

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Meanwhile, the quarantine period for fully vaccinated patients will be reduced from 10 to 7 days from the day they tested positive for the disease.

“Ten days isolation is retained for those that are partially or unvaccinated, and those with moderate symptoms regardless of vaccination status,” Vergeire said.

“Meanwhile, the isolation period has been retained to 21 days for those with severe and critical disease, and those immunocompromised,” she added.

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DOH added hospital infection and control committee and/or the Provincial Health Office can shorten the quarantine period for fully vaccinated healthcare workers with boosters to 5 days, upon a careful assessment of benefits and risks.

“May be expanded to other sectors with strict industry standards on IPC subject to IATF approval,” it added.

Guidelines for shorter quarantine period COVID-19 cases, close contacts released

Meanwhile, the quarantine isolation period for fully vaccinated close contact of a COVID-19 patient would be cut to five days from the previous seven days, Vergeire said.

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“For the quarantine of close contacts for the general public, policies are to be from seven days we shortened it to five days for those who are fully vaccinated, and we retained 14 days for partially or unvaccinated individuals,” she said.

She added DOH would release the policies in the next few days.

Vergeire added testing of close contacts would also not be required unless they begin to show symptoms.

“For healthcare workers that are considered close contacts, for the sake of uniformity, they will follow the five days quarantine similar to the general public—provided they are fully vaccinated,” she said.

The DOH official said the updated guidelines on the quarantine period were needed as the “the general public and specific sectors like care workers had been causing confusion on the ground.”

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