Latest isolation and quarantine rules for close contacts and confirmed cases

Here are the Latest isolation and quarantine rules for close contacts and confirmed cases. If you or someone you know has tested positive for COVID-19, what are the rules that need to be followed? Here is a roundup of the latest guidelines that need to be followed if you are living in Dubai, as per the Dubai Health Authority (DHA).

I tested positive

Who is a COVID-19 confirmed case?

A person with a positive PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) test result for COVID-19, irrespective of clinical symptoms, is considered to be a confirmed case. It is important to note that the result should be from an approved medical facility.

What should I do next?

If you test positive for COVID-19, these are the next steps that need to be followed:

isolation and quarantine rules

1. Isolate yourself immediately in a separate room after getting your positive PCR result and immediately inform your direct manager and HR department.
2. Install the COVID-19 DXB App and follow the required steps.
3. If you do not have any symptoms, you still have to complete the 10-day home or institutional isolation. You don’t have to undergo another PCR test once the isolation period is complete.
4. If you begin to develop any symptoms, you can call the DHA toll-free number on 800 342 to book a virtual medical consultation through the “Doctor for Every Citizen” service or book an appointment at a COVID-19 assessment centre.
5. Upon completing the isolation period, you will get a clearance certificate via SMS.

If you cannot meet the conditions for home isolation, you can contact the DHA hotline on 800 342 to request for a transfer to an institutional isolation facility.

When does the isolation period end?

• After completing 10 days from the date of taking the PCR test.
• When the symptoms, if any, subside.
• The patient has no symptoms or fever by the 10th day, (without fever-reducing medication) for a minimum of three consecutive days.

When is COVID-19 considered to be infectious?

Scientific studies have shown that COVID-19 is most contagious to others in the first 10 days of the infection and the risk rapidly declines by the end of the first 7 to 10 days of the infection.

Therefore, it is important to remain in isolation for 10 days to avoid spreading the infection and to ensure the health and safety of others.

Scientific studies have also shown that the virus was not found to be active or infectious, after the 10 days of infection, even if the person tested positive in a PCR test.

Does the patient have to have a negative PCR test to end their isolation?

A negative PCR test is not required to end isolation. The criteria for ending isolation is completing 10 days of isolation with improved symptoms and no fever for at least 3 days with no fever reduction medications.

Can I practise my normal life after leaving the isolation with a positive examination result or will I be fined?

A positive test result after finishing the isolation period does not cause fines and the person can resume normal life and work normally. However, you must ensure to follow the precautionary measures announced by the concerned authorities, which include wearing face masks and maintaining a physical distance of 2m to avoid fines.

Can I get a clearance certificate?

Yes, you can get a clearance certificate after completing the isolation period by calling 800 342 or through the COVID-19 DXB smart app.

Who is eligible for home isolation?

Confirmed COVID-19 patients who are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms can fulfill the home isolation criteria.

What are the conditions and requirements for home isolation?

• Availability of a separate room with a private bathroom.
• Patient’s health is stable.
• None of the household members are from the high-risk category.
• Availability of means of communication such as an active phone number.
• Patient and household members are capable of adhering to the precautions recommended as part of home isolation.
• Availability of a first-aid kit that includes a thermometer.

If any symptoms appear, you can receive the necessary support and consultation for emergency cases through the COVID19-DXB smart app.

The patient can also call the DHA toll-free number on 800342 or the ambulance at 997.

Someone I met recently tested positive

Quarantine guidelines have been issued by DHA for those who are considered to be close contacts of a positive case.

To be considered a close contact, these are the conditions that need to met:

1. A person who is exposed to a confirmed COVID-19 case, in close proximity of one meter or less, for a period of not less than 15 minutes; or
2. A person who is in direct physical contact with a positive case (eg. handshake) two days before the positive case showed symptoms or two days before the positive case got the PCR test done or during the 10 days of the illness.

If you are a close contact, these are the steps you would need to follow:

1. Directly quarantine in a separate room for seven days and follow precautionary measures to ensure the safety of others.
2. DHA will contact and inform the close contact of the necessary procedures OR the close contact can call DHA on the toll-free number 800 342.
3. The quarantine period is seven days and there is no need to undergo a PCR test if there are no symptoms.
4. If ANY symptoms appear during the quarantine period, call 800 342 to book a PCR test appointment.
5. If the test result is positive, you will be contacted for isolation procedures. The isolation period is for 10-days. If the test result is negative, you must complete the seven-day quarantine period.

Also,

When does the quarantine period start?

The seven-day quarantine period begins
1. Two days before the confirmed COVID-19 positive case undertook a PCR test or
2. Two days before the confirmed COVID-19 positive case showed any COVID-19 symptoms if you met the individual for more than 15 minutes and if the physical distance maintained was one meter or less.

The quarantine can end after Day 7 without testing if no symptoms were reported during daily monitoring.

For example:
If you had dinner with a friend on September 1 and on September 3, your friend went for a PCR test and the result was positive, your quarantine period will begin from September 1 (Two days before the date of the PCR test) until September 7.
If you had dinner with a friend on September 1 and on September 5, your friend went for a PCR test and the result was positive, you are not a close contact and therefore you do NOT need to quarantine.

I developed symptoms while in home quarantine, what should I do?

Call the toll-free number 800 342 to book an appointment for a PCR test in a government COVID-19 testing center or go to a certified private health facility for a PCR test and also follow isolation and quarantine rules.
Before leaving the house for a PCR test, make sure you follow all the precautionary measures such as wearing a face mask and maintaining a physical distance from others.
Make sure you maintain a physical distance of no less than two meters between you and others at all times. Please ensure continuous hand washing or hand sanitizing and maintain respiratory hygiene.

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