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Isolation for omicron direct contacts scrapped

Isolation for omicron direct contacts scrapped

Tuesday 21 December 2021

Isolation for omicron direct contacts scrapped

Tuesday 21 December 2021


Direct contacts of people who have tested positive for omicron will not have to isolate if they test negative, Ministers have decided.

They said the original 10-day quarantine policy was intended as a short-term measure to slow the spread of the variant, but that there were now 15 confirmed omicron cases in Jersey, with more expected as sequencing takes three days.

All direct contacts will now be treated in the same way - a single PCR test, with no isolation and a recommendation to take a daily lateral flow test for 10 days. Anyone who was isolating as an omicron direct contact is now allowed to leave isolation.

Ministers said the change in policy follows advice from Public Health officials. They confirmed that evidence no longer supported the policy so recommended that it be changed.

Public Health and the Government's scientific advisory group, STAC, have said they will be keeping a close eye on the number of people who test positive for covid, severity of illness in islanders, and proportion of omicron and delta cases.

Deputy Medical Officer of Health, Dr Ivan Muscat MBE, said postponing a "significant rise" in cases was important as it "gives us more time to vaccinate Islanders, limiting the number of cases and reducing the severity of disease."

muscat14covidlaboratory.jpg

Pictured: Dr Ivan Muscat said getting a booster covid jab was the "most important action an individual can take".

He continued: "Getting a booster as soon as you are eligible to do so is the most important action an individual can take. The current evidence is that the booster is 70 to 75% effective against infection from omicron, and it is also very effective against delta.

"If you haven’t had your first doses yet, it is not too late to start – in fact, it is even more important to take this opportunity to start your vaccination schedule if you haven’t done so already. Approximately five billion doses of covid-19 vaccines have now been given worldwide.

“Being up to date with your covid-19 vaccination schedule will protect yourself, the community, and the capacity of our health service and the hospital.” 

Chief Minister, Senator John le Fondre, added that islanders should also sign up to the free lateral flow home testing programme, if they are not already.

"Please get signed up as this is the best way to detect the virus in asymptomatic people who may be unknowingly spreading infection. If you are identified as a Direct Contact, please attend your PCR appointment and then take LFTs daily for 10 days," he commented.

Islanders are also being advised to take a lateral flow test before they attend any Christmas gatherings.

As of this afternoon, 1,208 people in Jersey were recorded as having tested positive for covid - 10 of whom are in hospital, and one in a care home.

933 people are recorded as showing symptoms, while just 275 are not.

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Posted by Danny Moisan on
it seems strange how people who are getting their third jab in under a year call me crazy for not getting jabbed!
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