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COVID testing crunch has forced onus for isolating onto individuals

COVID testing crunch has forced onus for isolating onto individuals

Due to unprecedented demand for COVID testing, it is nearly impossible to get a COVID test result in a useful time frame. People in Ontario requesting test appointments are being put off until as late as the second week in January.  As a result, many residents are turning to using home test kits. Which means the results–positive or negative—don’t get recorded in the provincial database. The situation is similar in the US, and there the Centre for Disease Control has modified its self-isolation recommendations now saying that anyone with confirmed or probable COVID-19 from a test should isolate at home for five days, down from ten, so long as they do not show symptoms.

Dr. Kieran Moore news conference postponed

Here in Ontario a news briefing had been scheduled with Ontario Chief Medical Office Dr. Kieran Moore to discuss isolation recommendations but it has been postponed. A statement from the ministry reads, “In light of the recently updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on shortening the recommended isolation and quarantine period, the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health and Public Health Ontario are evaluating this guidance against Ontario-specific evidence,” spokesperson Alexandra Hilkene told CP24.“Dr. Moore will provide an update later this week.”

The CDC Recommendations are as follows:

For People Who Test Positive For COVID-19:

Stay home and isolate for five days, regardless of whether you have symptoms. For symptomatic people, Day 1 is the first full day after symptoms developed.

If you have no symptoms OR if symptoms are resolving after five days, you can leave isolation but should wear a mask around others — even at home — for five more days.

If you have a fever — even a low fever that is going down — you should continue to isolate until your temperature is normal.

There’s no need to test out of isolation after five days; tests can remain positive for months after Covid-19 infection, although you are no longer infectious.

For People Exposed to COVID-19:

These are based on what studies show about how and when people are likely to infect others.

If you are boosted, have received your first two Pfizer or Moderna doses in the last six months or your single J&J dose in the last two months:

No need to quarantine at home after exposure.

Always wear a mask around others for 10 days.

Test if you develop symptoms, or five days after exposure. People can be infected even without symptoms.

If you test positive, you should begin to follow isolation guidelines.

If you are unvaccinated, or are eligible for a booster and haven’t received one:

Quarantine at home for five days, and continue to wear a mask around others for five more days to be sure you don’t infect someone else.

Test if you develop symptoms or five days after exposure.

If you test positive, you should begin to follow isolation guidelines.

The foregoing is the advice given to US residents by their Centre for Disease Control. How much of it Ontarians may see we will know when Dr. Moore meets with the media later this week.

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