DOH shortens quarantine, isolation for fully vaccinated

By CNN Philippines Staff

Published Jan 13, 2022 4:09:23 PM

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 13) — The Department of Health has reduced the number of days for quarantine and isolation depending on a person’s COVID-19 vaccination status.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire presented the updated quarantine and isolation requirements on Wednesday. Secretary Francisco Duque III said the updated guidelines are set to be signed for implementation on Thursday.

Fully vaccinated COVID-19 patients, both the general public and health workers, who are asymptomatic or experiencing mild symptoms should isolate for seven days — instead of the previous 10 days — from the onset of symptoms.

Health facilities can ask medical frontliners to further shorten their isolation to five days if they have received their booster shots.

Those who experience moderate symptoms need to isolate for 10 days regardless of their vaccination status.

The unvaccinated or partially vaccinated patients need to isolate for 10 days.

Fully vaccinated individuals who have been exposed to a COVID-19 case but without symptoms can also undergo a shorter quarantine period.

From seven days, the general public only needs to quarantine for five days as long as they continue to monitor for flu-like symptoms until the 14th day. The unvaccinated need to complete the whole 14 days of quarantine.

The Department of Health also made changes to the quarantine period of healthcare workers after medical frontliners expressed fear they may pass the virus to others if they forego the quarantine period.

The previous policy, which was crafted earlier this month, stated that health facilities can ask vaccinated personnel to forego quarantine if they are not showing symptoms. Under the new policy, they have to undergo a five-day quarantine.

The DOH said the Inter-Agency Task Force has yet to approve if vaccinated and boosted health workers can skip quarantine in case they are not showing symptoms.

Vergeire said the changes were made based on the behavior of the Omicron variant.

“Findings show that vaccinated asymptomatic and mild cases are unlikely to shed infectious virus 10 days after the diagnosis or symptom onset,” the official said.


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