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Recovered COVID patients exempt from contact listings for 3 months after infection

2022-05-21
Focus Taiwan
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CNA photo May 19, 2022
CNA photo May 19, 2022

Taipei, May 19 (CNA) People who have recovered from a COVID-19 infection are now exempt from any contact listing for the three-month period after they first tested positive, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said Thursday.

With the revision of the protocol for recovered COVID-19 patients, it means that if they come into contact with an infected person, they will not have to follow isolation or self-health monitoring rules, CECC official Lo Yi-chun (羅一鈞) said at a daily news briefing.

The protocol has been changed based mainly on research that shows COVID-19 immunity can last for at least three months after an infection, Lo said.

Furthermore, people such as healthcare workers and medical staff who have recovered from a COVID-19 infection are highly likely to come into frequent contact with COVID-19 patients, which makes it impractical to list such workers as contacts during the three-month period when they have immunity, Lo said.

Over the past two years, there have been only 457 confirmed COVID-19 reinfections in Taiwan, he said, citing data valid as of May 16.

COVID-19 patients who are categorized as recovered are deemed not contagious, and if they test positive again within three months, they are generally not listed as new cases, Lo said, adding that the tests could fluctuate between positive and negative during that period.

Recovered patients who develop COVID-19 symptoms after coming into contact with an infected person, however, are advised to get a rapid test or a PCR test, Lo said, adding that if they test negative, they will be exempt from any contact listing.

Currently, people living in the same household or dormitory as a COVID-19 patient are required to conduct seven days of self-initiated epidemic prevention, if they have received three shots of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to CECC protocols.

Close contacts who have not received three shots are required to isolate at home for three days, followed by four days of self-initiated epidemic prevention, during which they will be allowed to go outside, provided that they obtain a negative rapid antigen test result no more than one day before.

Vaccinated and boosted contacts of a COVID-19 case in the workplace or elsewhere are required to follow self-health monitoring rules, which means they can live normal lives but should avoid dining in restaurants and attending social gatherings.

On Thursday, Taiwan reported 90, 378 new COVID-19 cases, and 59 deaths from the disease, bringing its total number of cases since the start of the pandemic to over 1 million for the first time.

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