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New complicated procedure for quarantine release

Opinions & Editorial 09 Feb, 2022 Follow News

New complicated procedure for quarantine release

Public Health have this week released new procedures for people in quarantine looking to be released, an exit system that is based upon the CT values of a person’s PCR result.

CT stands for ‘cycle threshold’, a value that is revealed during PCR testing for Covid, often referred to as the ‘gold standard’ for testing. During the PCR testing process, the material taken from the individual goes through multiple cycles until a detectable amount of the virus is found. If a higher number of cycles is required before the virus is detected, that means the individual most likely has a lower viral load than people with a lower CT number, whose viral infection has been spotted with fewer cycles of detection, implying they have a higher viral load.

With regard to quarantine exit tests, where a person has a CT value of 32 or more, and has completed their isolation period and has had no symptoms for at least 24 hours, they can submit an early release request form to Public Health. The form requires the individual to upload their PCR test result. If Public Health is satisfied that the criteria are met, the individual will receive an exit confirmation email and then the individual can leave isolation. Public Health also said that when they state a person should not have had symptoms for at least 24 hours, the person may still have a dry cough, loss of smell or taste, and/or a runny nose.

If a person has 28 to 31.9 as their CT value, then they must simply call the flu hotline for further assessment, 1-800-534 8600 or 947 3077 or email flu@hsa.ky.

If a person has a CT value of 27.9 or less on their exit PCR test then they must isolate further. The guidelines for this additional isolation are as follows:

• 7 days for vaccinated people

• 10 days for unvaccinated people

• Unvaccinated children must vaccinate based upon the vaccination status of their parents

It should also be noted that an isolation exit test with a CT value of:

25 to 27.9 requires the individual to take a repeat PCR test 2 days after their last PCR test

20 to 24.9 requires a repeat PCT test 4 days after the last PCR

20 and under – people must contact the flu hotline for a retesting date.

In the UK, the procedure is far simpler and provides for the individual to take personal responsibility for their exit after a Covid infection. If a person tests positive, their self-isolation period includes the day their symptoms started (or the day they had the test, if they do not have symptoms) and the next 10 full days. If they get symptoms while they’re self-isolating, the 10 days restarts from the day after their symptoms started. In the UK, people can do a rapid lateral flow test from day five of their self-isolation period (but not before) and another test the next day. They can stop self-isolating if both tests are negative and the individual does not have a high temperature. Tests have to be reported to the authorities and people can stop testing after they’ve had two negative test results in a row.

With anecdotal evidence in Cayman suggesting some people are not reporting their positive cases because they fear they will be required to isolate for overly long periods of time, this means that any data recorded by government will not be an accurate reflection of the true picture as it relates to Covid cases in the Cayman Islands.

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