Saint Lucia’s Ministry of Health and Wellness and Elderly Affairs has announced new isolation and quarantine protocols as the country battles a massive fifth COVID-19 wave.
Effective Monday, January 24, 2022, for persons who are considered close contacts of a confirmed case of COVID-19 and do not have any symptoms of COVID-19, the quarantine period may end after receiving a negative PCR test result.
In making the disclosure, National Epidemiologist Dr. Michelle Francois explained that individuals should take the test on Day 7 after the last contact with the confirmed case of COVID-19.
Francois explained that a test before day seven after the last contact with the COVID-19 case could produce a false negative, requiring another test on day seven.
“If symptoms develop during the quarantine period, the individual is advised to get another test. Individuals who are fully vaccinated and test positive for COVID-19 but have no symptoms may end the isolation period after seven days,” she stated.
However, the senior Health Ministry official explained that the isolation period must restart if symptoms develop after testing positive.
“Day 0 being the first day of symptoms and terminated on completion of Day 10,” Francois said.
She said for asymptomatic COVID-positive individuals who are unvaccinated the isolation period remains ten days from the date of the sample which led to the confirmation of COVID-19.
“If symptoms develop after testing positive, the isolation period should start over. Day 0 is the first day of symptoms and the 10 days of isolation must be restarted,” the National Epidemiologist pointed out.
In addition, Francois said for all persons who test positive for COVID-19 and have symptoms, regardless of vaccination status, a 10-day isolation period must be completed.
She said the individual must also be asymptomatic for three consecutive days (days 8, 9 & 10) to obtain discharge from isolation.
Her complete statement appears below: