|04 January, 2022 16:43 pm||| Reading time: 3 minutes|
|04 January, 2022 16:43 pm|
|| Reading time: 3 minutes|
With the rise in coronavirus cases, almost 2 years after the arrival of the virus in Argentina, the question arises again: What is close contact? Furthermore, in the last days there were changes in the isolation period of close contacts and confirmed cases depending on the vaccination status. How long do you have to isolate yourself in both cases? What does it depend on?
According to the official definition of the Ministry of Health of the Nation, it is called close contact to “Anyone who has remained within a distance of less than 2 meters with a confirmed case while the case presented symptoms, or during the 48 hours prior to the onset of symptoms for at least 15 minutes”. For example, partners, visitors, coworkers, etc.
In addition, it is a close contact “anyone who has provided care to a confirmed case while the case was symptomatic or within 48 hours prior to the onset of symptoms and who has not used appropriate personal protection measures”. That is: it does not matter that the contact was outdoors; If proper protective measures were not followed, such as social distance and wearing a mask when with other people with COVID-19, it is close contact.
Other definitions apply to close contact in popular neighborhoods, indigenous peoples, closed or long-term institutions, health personnel, and on a plane or bus, which can be accessed here.
What should I do if I am close contact
Close contacts are at higher risk of infection. That is why it is essential that they isolate themselves even if they do not have symptoms. Criteria for isolating close contacts without symptoms vary according to vaccination status., details the health portfolio.
Those people who have the complete vaccination schedule (with less than 5 months after completing the scheme or applying the booster dose) and are asymptomatic close contact of a confirmed case, they must comply with 5 days of isolation plus 5 days of special care. This includes not attending events defined as higher risk, wearing a chinstrap properly – tightly fitting, covering the nose, mouth and chin – permanently in closed or open environments where there are other people, maintaining social distance and ventilating the environments of continuously.
On the fifth day, in special situations (for example, workers in contact with a population at risk), a diagnostic test may be indicated, according to official recommendations.
In the case of Asymptomatic close contacts without vaccination or with incomplete schedule, 10 days of isolation are required from the moment of the last contact with a confirmed case, or 7 days of isolation and a negative test from the seventh day plus 3 days of special care.
How long should I isolate myself if I am a confirmed case?
People who are close contact and have symptoms (fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, muscle pain, headache, nasal congestion, sudden loss of taste or smell) should be isolated until the suspicion is confirmed or ruled out (See here the definition of suspected and confirmed case).
The isolation criteria for confirmed cases also vary depending on the coronavirus vaccination status., according to what was agreed by the ministers of Health of the entire country in the Federal Council of Health (Cofesa).
For people who have the complete vaccination schedule (less than 5 months after completing the scheme or applying the booster dose), the isolation should be of 7 days from the date of onset of symptoms (or diagnosis in asymptomatic cases), with at least 48 hours without symptoms or with mild symptoms, plus 3 days of special care.
Those confirmed cases without vaccination or with incomplete schedule should be sheltered for 10 days from the date of onset of symptoms. or, for asymptomatic people, from the date of diagnosis, details the Ministry of Health.
By last, “all confirmed cases will have their health pass disabled [N. de R.: un certificado de vacunación que será requerido para el acceso a determinados eventos] for 10 days to attend mass events or other activities considered higher risk ”.
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