Some close contacts of COVID-19 variant cases could have to self-isolate up to 24 days: Sask. Ministry of Health
Nurses greet patients at a COVID-19 walk-in clinic in Montreal, on Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS / Paul Chiasson)
REGINA -- With 1,117 active COVID-19 cases in the Regina zone, the city is inching closer to breaking its active case record of 1,179 set in December. With the increase in cases, the Ministry of Health is providing more details on isolation requirements for close contacts of COVID-19 variants of concern.
The surge in Regina – fuelled by the highly transmissible variants – has resulted in active outbreaks at schools, grocery stores, daycares, nail salons and various workplaces around the city.
Here is when – and how – the Ministry of Health requires people to self-isolate:
People who are COVID-positive must self-isolate for at least 10 days.
Anyone who is identified as a close contact by public health must go into a mandatory 14-day isolation, which starts the day they were exposed.
Due to the transmissibility of both the B.1.1.7 and B 188.8.131.52 variants – which have been found in Saskatchewan – exposure in a household has likely already happened before the case is diagnosed. Because of this, all household members are considered close contacts.
Once a COVID patient is considered recovered, which happens 10 days after symptoms start, the household contacts must continue the mandatory 14 day isolation following their last exposure to the COVID-positive person. According to the Ministry of Health, this could mean 24 days of isolation at home for household members if they had contact with the COVID-positive person in their home 10 days after their symptoms began.
The Ministry of Health recommends testing for all close contacts. If the first test result is negative, the person should get tested again 10 days later, while continuing their 14-day isolation period.
Under the current Public Health Order, self-isolation means not leaving your property.
You cannot have visitors in your home and cannot go to school, work or any other public places.
If you are using delivery services or someone if dropping off food, it should be left outside the door.
You are allowed to be outside in your backyard or on your balcony as long you are not close to other people. You are not allowed to go for walks.
If you live with others, you should not be in contact with the people in your household. You should stay in a separate room and use a different bathroom, if possible.
If people do not follow the mandatory self-isolation orders, they could face a fine of up to $2,000.