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Guidance for close contacts

Guidance for those identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19

If you have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 you should be extra vigilant for symptoms as you are at risk of developing COVID-19. Please follow this advice, even if you don’t currently have symptoms, as you could spread the virus to others.

If you have recently tested positive for COVID-19 this advice is not applicable and you must adhere to your Direction Notice. There is no requirement for a COVID-19 positive person to follow the 7 day close contact lateral flow device testing mentioned below.

If you have no COVID-19 symptoms, you are not required to self-isolate or have a PCR test. Instead, you are strongly encouraged to take part in a free seven-day home testing scheme. Home test kits – called lateral flow devices (LFD) – are available in packs of six, free of charge. These kits are available from participating pharmacies across the Island or you can order a LFD online. Please contact your local pharmacy to see if they have kits available and any collection restrictions they have in place.

It is good practice to for all people to check themselves using a lateral flow device (LFD) test around twice a week as many as 1:3 people are infected but have no symptoms of COVID-19 so can pass it on to others without knowing. People with symptoms should isolate and book a PCR test as this is more accurate when you have symptoms.

As a close contact you are encouraged to test yourself with an LFD test every day for seven days from when you are identified as a close contact. If your LFD test is a negative result, you do not need to upload this to the LFD Online Reporting system.

If your LFD test is a positive result, you should immediately isolate and report your result online. You will be required to self-isolate for 10 days. If you receive a negative LFD test result during the 10 days and a further negative LFD test result at least 24 hours later then you will be able to leave isolation early. Please note, you must wait a full 24 hours after reporting your first negative LFD test result, before reporting your second negative LFD test result.

Whilst there are no legal restrictions on close contacts, we strongly suggest you should consider:

  • Work - telling your employer that you have been identified as a close contact and follow your workplace policy. Consider letting them know if you will be undertaking daily home testing – while you are legally allowed to continue to attend work while returning negative lateral flow tests you should discuss any mitigations you or they might like to put in place while you complete the seven days of home testing.

  • Contacts - telling friends, family and colleagues who may feel anxious or vulnerable, you may want to limit or reduce contact with them until you have returned negative lateral flow tests.

  • Inform - thinking about who you interact with in the 10 days after being told you’re a close contact.

  • Precautions - taking precautions that may make you and others feel safer, such as minimising face to face close contact, avoiding confined and poorly ventilated areas or wearing a face covering as appropriate until you complete the seven days of home testing.

Frequently asked questions

What is meant by a contact?

A contact is a person who has been close to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. You can be a contact any time from 2 days before the person who tested positive developed their symptoms (or, if they did not have any symptoms, from 2 days before the date their positive test was taken), and up to 10 days after, as this is when they can pass the infection on to others.

A high-risk (close) contact is any person who has had one or more of the following exposures:

  • having had face-to-face contact with a COVID-19 case within two metres for more than a total of 15 minutes over a 24 hour period (even if not consecutive)
  • having had physical contact with a COVID-19 case
  • having had direct contact with infectious secretions of a COVID-19 case (for example by being coughed on)
  • being in a closed or confined environment, especially without good ventilation (household, classroom, meeting room, hospital waiting room, etc.) with a COVID-19 case for more than 15 minutes
  • travelling together with a COVID-19 case in any mode of transport for more than 15 minutes, especially without good ventilation
  • a healthcare worker or other person who was providing care to a COVID-19 case, or laboratory workers who were handling specimens from a COVID-19 case, without recommended personal protective equipment or with a possible breach of such equipment or hand hygiene.

What are the COVID-19 symptoms?

  • a temperature of more than 37.8C (100F)
  • OR, a new and persistent cough - this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • OR, anosmia – this is the loss of or a change in your normal sense of smell. It can also affect your sense of taste as the two are closely linked
  • OR, a new shortness of breath

Someone in my household is positive, what mitigations should I take to prevent catching COVID-19 in my house?

If a member of your household has tested positive for COVID-19 they should be self-isolating. This means there should be minimal contact between positive any person and the rest of the household, where possible separate bathrooms and kitchens should be used – if this is not possible then regular cleaning and disinfection should take place of shared spaces and appliances.

There is no requirement for you to isolate, unless you develop COVID-19 symptoms or test positive. You can continue to work, but we would recommend approaching your employer to check what mitigations or alternatives they may want to put in place.

Can I attend a hospital appointment?

Please refer to the latest Hospital Visiting Policy or contact the relevant hospital department by contacting the hospital switchboard on 650000.

Please be aware that an exception will apply for anyone needing emergency treatment.

Can I attend my COVID-19 vaccination appointment?

If you have any COVID-19 symptoms you should be isolating and therefore cannot attend a vaccination appointment. If you do not have any COVID-19 symptoms then it is best practice not to attend a vaccination appointment as you could be incubating Covid-19.

You can rearrange your vaccination appointment by calling 111 or emailing vaccinations@gov.im

If I am eligible for COVID-19 vaccination and haven’t had it yet but want to now, what do I do?

You can register to have the vaccine at any time please visit the website and complete the online Vaccination Registration or call 111.

Can I attend any other appointments?

Please contact the relevant service and inform them you have been identified as a close contact to seek clarification on whether you need to rearrange your appointment.

 

Useful links and numbers

Understand how your personal data is processed by Contact Tracing and why.

 

Community Support and information line: 686262.

The above number is for non-medical calls and queries.

 

COVID Line: 111 (from a local line) or +44 (0) 1624 822111 (from an international number)

The above numbers are for medical calls, in the event of experiencing symptoms, and permission to attend health settings