AHS’ COVID-19 Scientific Advisory Group (SAG) recently investigated the latest evidence from around the world pertaining to a key question: is there risk associated with shortening the quarantine period for healthcare workers (HCW)?
Managing infection exposure includes testing, quarantine and monitoring symptoms. Currently in Alberta, HCW are required to quarantine for 14 days following a significant exposure. However, recommendations on length of quarantine vary around the world. The degree of risk exposure, whether usual or high, ought to be taken into consideration when determining quarantine duration.
- Usual risk scenario: HCW should quarantine for 10 days (from last exposure) before consideration of return to work if:
- Tested negative at day eight following the last exposure;
- Exposure was deemed to be usual risk*;
- Remained asymptomatic throughout the 10-day quarantine;
- Confirmed no household nor community contact with a known COVID-19 positive case in the preceding 14 days; and
- Follows health recommendations upon return to the workplace for continuous masking, appropriate PPE, hand hygiene and continued self-monitoring of symptoms.
*Usual risk does not meet criteria for high risk, as defined below:
- High-risk scenario: HCW should quarantine for 14 days from last exposure before consideration of a return to work.
High-risk is operationally defined by contact or exposure event risks.
Contact assessment—high-risk includes:
- Contact with a source case who was unmasked and had respiratory symptoms
- Close contact with respiratory droplet contamination
- Prolonged exposure (> 15 minutes) to an AGMP without proper PPE
- Interacting in a confined case with source case
- Multiple exposures to source case in short duration (> 15 minutes)
Exposure event—high-risk includes:
Significant exposure in a high-risk exposure event (e.g., an outbreak with the possibility of a high attack rate based on the evolving scenario, or exposure to a source case with demonstrated spread to others with similar exposure parameters during the likely infectious time period).
- Positive COVID-19 HCW must isolate for 10 days after symptom onset before consideration of a return to work. Although most immunocompromised HCW may be eligible for 10-day isolation before considering a return to work, Workplace Health & Safety (WHS) assessment regarding duration of isolation is needed as severely immunocompromised individuals may have prolonged viral shedding and guidance may evolve.
Please review the recommendations within the school reopening report.
Related NewsAll News & Events
November 7, 2023
Alberta Virtual Care Coordinating Body releases report: “Interoperability Saves Lives”
Edmonton, AB – As a member of the Alberta Virtual Care Coordinating Body (AVCCB), CPSA is delighted to share the AVCCB’s highly anticipated and newly released report “Interoperability Saves Lives”. Health data is the cornerstone of quality health care; the ability to exchange health data efficiently and safely between platforms and health providers is essential...
Media Release, Partners, Virtual Care
September 20, 2023
Siksika Nation and CPSA Sign Historic Memorandum of Understanding
At this historic point in time, there is a mutual recognition of the autonomy and self-government of Siksika Nation (“Siksika”) and CPSA’s regulatory authority over physicians and physician assistants practicing in Siksika, and the adoption of measures to address systemic racism in health care. Board Chair, Siksika Health Services: Ike Solway Chair, CPSA Council: Stacey...
Indigenous Health, Media Release, Partners