As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, new knowledge regarding the nature of COVID-19 infection, greater appreciation of the costs associated with current practices, as well as rising vaccination rates and immunity to COVID-19 infection amongst South Africans, have necessitated substantial revision of recommendations regarding quarantine, isolation and contract tracing.
Isolation for Asymptomatic COVID infection
People with asymptomatic COVID-19 infection do not need to isolate. However they should be advised to:
- Wear a mask whenever interacting with people, for the next 5 days from the date of the test
- Avoid social gatherings (3 or more people) for 5 days from date of test
- Avoid being with others socially in indoor spaces, for 5 days from date of test
- Specifically avoid socially interacting with the elderly (>60 years) and anyone with co-morbidities (diabetes, lung disease, heart disease, kidney disease, cancer, uncontrolled HIV, immunocompromised), for 5 days from date of test.
Isolation for Mild Symptomatic COVID-19 infection
Those with symptomatic COVID infection who have mild disease (they do not require hospitalisation for COVID pnuemonia) should isolate for 7 days from the date of start of symptoms. There is no need for testing prior to de-isolation.