Taipei, April 16 (CNA) Since the end of March, Taiwan has seen an increase in locally transmitted COVID-19 infections, mostly involving individuals who have been given the Omicron variant of coronavirus. However, while Omicron is highly transmissible, over 99 percent of reported cases have been mild or asymptomatic. Because of this, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) has shifted away from a zero-COVID-19 policy and is focusing instead on harm reduction.
But in the face of the continuing rise in local COVID-19 cases, what can you do if you came in contact with someone who was later tested positive for the disease? So what should you do if you take a quick home test and get a positive result?
The following are answers to these and other questions you may have about what to do.
● What if someone around me tests positive for COVID-19?
If you recently came in close contact with someone who was then tested positive, whether you receive a quarantine message from the government or not, you will need to isolate yourself at home for 10 days to monitor your health. If you live with others in the same household, wear a face mask and avoid coming into contact with or sharing meals with, especially with young children, the elderly, or family members with a weak immune system.
If you develop symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat, diarrhea, and loss of smell or taste, contact your local health department immediately or call the Centers for Disease Control 1922 hotline for assistance. Meanwhile, the 24-hour Citizen Services 1999 hotline can also be contacted for assistance.
However, if you are not a close contact, which means you only briefly encountered someone who was later tested positive for COVID-19, you can continue your normal life, but you will need to monitor your health for 10 days. Avoid large crowds, and if you develop symptoms, wear a face mask and seek medical attention.
● What does it mean to be a “close contact”, and why have I been identified as one?
If you live or met with a person face to face for more than 15 minutes, who then develops symptoms of COVID-19 or tests positive for the disease within four days, you will then be identified as a close contact and must self-quarantine at home .
If you are not a direct contact person in a confirmed case, for example if you are just a colleague of a patient’s wife, do not go into home quarantine.
● How long does home quarantine last and how many COVID-19 tests should I take?
The home quarantine period is 10 days from the day you last came in contact with a person with COVID-19. If you test negative for the disease at the end of your quarantine, observe your own health check for seven days from the next day.
You will receive a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test at the start of your home quarantine, while a rapid antigen self-test will be performed between the fifth and seventh day after your last contact with a confirmed case, one at the end of your home quarantine and more. one on the sixth or seventh day of self-health management.
● What should I do if I have been informed that I am being quarantined but am currently outside the house?
If you receive a call or message from local health authorities to quarantine, return home immediately, but without taking public transportation. Instead, drive or drive your own vehicle, scooter or bicycle, or even go home while wearing a face mask.
● What should I do if I receive a text message informing me that I have recently visited the same places that someone confirmed with COVID-19?
You do not need to panic as this means you may have an overlapping footprint with a COVID-19 case, but you do not need to undergo home quarantine. The warning is just a reminder that you will need to monitor your health for the next few days, and should any symptoms occur, seek medical attention or go to your nearest COVID-19 station for testing.
At the same time, if you receive a text message informing you that you are likely to cross paths with a newly confirmed COVID-19 patient, you may also be tested at a nearby COVID-19 station.
● What is the difference between home quarantine and self-care management?
Home quarantine is for persons identified as close contacts, and it is forbidden to go outside their home under quarantine. Meanwhile, self-health management lasts seven days and applies to people who have tested negative for COVID-19 and ended their quarantine, but are prohibited from attending group gatherings, participating in large activities where there are many people, and eating in restaurants. They will also need to wear their face masks at all times when they are outside their home.
● Under what circumstances should you take a COVID-19 rapid antigen self-test at home?
The rapid antigen self-test is recommended for individuals living in a high-risk COVID-19 area with many newly confirmed cases, have respiratory symptoms, and have recently traveled to sites that have been visited by COVID-19 patients.
● What should I do if my rapid antigen self-test is positive?
If you are not currently in home quarantine but are testing positive for COVID-19, seal your used self-test kit securely in a plastic bag and take it to the nearest COVID-19 test station so doctors can give you a PCR test. Again, refrain from taking public transportation and wearing your mask at all times.
If you test positive for COVID-19 and are under home quarantine, contact your local health authorities immediately or call the 1922 hotline for further instructions. However, if your self-test is negative, close it securely in a plastic bag and throw it in the regular trash.
● Do I comply with home quarantine or do I go to the hospital after being tested positive for COVID-19?
Currently, patients in one of the following groups will be admitted to the hospital: persons classified with moderate or severe COVID-19, aged 70 years or older, on dialysis or are 36 weeks pregnant or more. Meanwhile, patients outside these groups, including those with mild or asymptomatic symptoms, may undergo home quarantine or be placed in government-run quarantine centers.
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Enditem / HY