The central quarantine period for close contacts of COVID-19 cases in Shanghai has been halved to a week. It will then be followed by a week of home quarantine.
Previously, close contacts would be centrally quarantined for two weeks, followed by a week of home quarantine and health observation.
While in central quarantine, close contacts will receive daily PCR tests, and be discharged only once their test results, their belongings and their living environment all return negative on the seventh day.
During the subsequent home quarantine, they must take PCR tests every day.
If they are living with family members or housemates, they must isolate from them; those with no separate living quarters must undergo two weeks of central quarantine.
Everyone in the household will be tested daily, and home quarantine will be lifted only once they all test negative on the seventh day.
A magnetic seal will be placed on their doors to make sure they stay at home.
So How Does the Contact System Work?
Close contacts are defined as those who have had unprotected close contact with confirmed, asymptomatic or suspected COVID-19 cases within four days before the cases started to show symptoms or have returned a positive PCR test, or those who have been exposed to a potentially contaminated environment.
Secondary contacts – contacts of close contacts – are those who have lived, worked, dined or entertained with close contacts in a sealed environment and with no protection. They are generally family members or colleagues of the close contacts.
Secondary contacts will undergo a week of home quarantine with multiple PCR tests, followed by a week of self-health observation, during which they are encouraged to avoid gathering and reduce traveling.
The health code of both close and secondary contacts will turn red during the central or home quarantine period, banning them from taking public transport or entering public places.
If a positive case had been staying at home and using a private kitchen and bathroom, then only people living with them will be defined as close contacts.
Those living on the same floor and on the floors immediately above or below a positive case will be considered secondary contacts.
However, if a positive case shared a kitchen or bathroom with their neighbors, then those sharing the facilities – as well as all those living on the same floor, irrespective of if they shared the facilities or not – will be considered close contacts.
Other residents in the same building will be considered secondary contacts – unless they shared the facilities, in which case they will be considered close contacts.
Note: These are the principles for defining close and secondary contacts. However, a comprehensive assessment is made at each case site, and policy implemented accordingly.
Shanghai Health Commission also noted that policies may be further adjusted according to the city's COVID-19 pandemic situation – for all the latest Shanghai COVID-19 news, follow us on WeChat:
[Cover image via Pixabay]