Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Most people infected with the virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. However, some will become seriously ill and require medical attention. Older people and those with underlying medical conditions like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, or cancer are more likely to develop serious illness. Anyone can get sick with COVID-19 and become seriously ill or die at any age.
The best way to prevent and slow down transmission is to be well informed about the disease and how the virus spreads. Protect yourself and others from infection by staying at least 1 metre apart from others, wearing a properly fitted mask, and washing your hands or using an alcohol-based rub frequently. Get vaccinated when it’s your turn and follow local guidance.
The virus can spread from an infected person’s mouth or nose in small liquid particles when they cough, sneeze, speak, sing or breathe. These particles range from larger respiratory droplets to smaller aerosols. It is important to practice respiratory etiquette, for example by coughing into a flexed elbow, and to stay home and self-isolate until you recover if you feel unwell.
Quarantine is done to stop the spread of diseases that are easily transmitted from one person to another. Quarantines are for people or groups who don’t have symptoms but were exposed to the sickness. Quarantine keeps them away from others so they don’t unknowingly infect anyone.
The following protocols guide the management of these individuals during the period of quarantine.
- All persons in mandatory quarantine must pay the cost of accommodation in the premises they are in prior to checking out.
- Hotels are advised to make arrangements for cashless payments.
- In the event the premises or hotels have to take cash, the cashier must use gloves and the person giving the cash must wash hands with soap and water or sanitize with over 70% alcohol based sanitizer.
- All clients should be placed in a well-ventilated rooms (i.e., with open windows and an open door).
- Movement of the clients shall be limited, however clients may be allowed time outside of the rooms to stretch at designated areas within the premises with timed intervals while maintaining 1 meter social distance. (E.g release clients in groups of 10)
- Accommodation premises are required to submit to the MOH Quarantine Team Leaders the details of all clients booked and the related hotel room nos.(Form attached)
Cleaning of Rooms
- During Stretching time/periods, the management shall organize cleaning of the rooms, following the infection prevention protocols as guided by MoH response team.
- Prior to occupancy the rooms should be cleaned daily with disinfectant with bleach disinfectant 1:6 dilution
- The management shall ensure all the laundry is disinfected and washed accordingly
- Guest shall have their meals in a well ventilated dining area. The sitting arrangement should maintain the 1 meter spacing requirement.
- After meal service the used utensils shall be deposited in bleach solution.
- The utensils shall be washed using bleach.
Hotel Staff and Health Workers
- Health workers and Hotel Staff interacting closely with the client should wear a tightly fitted N95 mask that covers their mouth and nose
- Remove the mask using the appropriate technique – that is, do not touch the front, but instead untie it. Discard the mask immediately after use and perform hand hygiene.
- Avoid direct contact with body fluids, particularly oral or respiratory secretions, and stool. Use disposable gloves and a mask when providing oral or respiratory care and when handling stool, urine and other waste. Perform hand hygiene before and after removing gloves and the mask.
- Hotel staff should ensure dedicated linen and eating utensils for the patient; these items should be cleaned with soap and hot water after use and may be re-used instead of being discarded.
- Heavy duty gloves and protective clothing (e.g., plastic aprons) should be used when cleaning surfaces or handling clothing or linen soiled with body fluids. Depending on the context, either heavy duty or single-use gloves can be used. After use, heavy duty gloves should be cleaned with soap and water and decontaminated with 0.5% chlorine bleach solution. Perform hand hygiene before and after removing gloves
Information you need to know when you are in quarantine
Quarantine for COVID-19 is recommended for individuals who have been directly exposed to the virus or who have travelled to areas where there are large numbers of people infected in order to prevent further transmission.
- Stay home except to get medical care.
- As much as possible, you should stay in a specific room and away from other people (even when quarantined at home). Do not go to public areas.
- Use a separate bathroom, if available. Clean bathroom using soap and water and disinfect with bleach solution provided by the quarantine premises.
- If you develop symptoms, put on Facemasks to help prevent the spread of the disease to others.
- Cough or sneeze into the fold of your elbow. Alternatively, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains over 70% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry. Soap and water should be used preferentially if hands are visibly dirty.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Clean all “high-touch” surfaces every day.
- It is recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus. When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals.
What to do when you feel sick
- Monitor development of symptoms: Fever, cough, shortness of breath.
- Seek prompt medical attention if you become ill. Call the health care worker at the quarantine site or 719 for care
Testing of COVID 19 among persons on quarantine
- A team of laboratory experts from the National Influenza Centre (NIC) will do the testing.
- The collection of a sample will take15 minutes per individual
- Before testing the procedure will be explained to the persons in quarantine
- The laboratory person will swab the nose and the mouth to collect the sample for testing.
- Results will be delivered within 24 hours after sample collection
- Positive results will be communicated to the suspected case and transferred to the isolation facility for treatment.
- Negative results will be relayed to their owners.
- Following the first negative test, the persons will be released into self quarantine as per the self quarantine protocols.
- All in self quarantine will be expected to continue daily monitoring of COVID 19 symptoms: Fever, cough, shortness of breath
- Those found to be negative will continue self quarantine till 14 days after discharge from the mandatory quarantine sites are over.
- All people in quarantine should have a repeat test on day 10 of quarantine.
- Anyone who develops symptoms during the period of quarantine should be tested for COVID 19.
- Close contacts of anyone found to have positive results of COVID 19 will go into self quarantine.
Guidance for management of those with co-morbidities, advanced age or pregnancy
Over 70 individuals in the quarantine facilities have been identified to have various comorbidities including hypertension, diabetes, cancer, recent surgery, some who are pregnant while others are of advanced age. It is noted that supporting care of these disease conditions is difficult in mandatory quarantine situations, and may lead to psychological strain and stretch available resources. The following measures are therefore recommended for the management of individuals with highlighted co-morbidities and conditions in quarantine:
- A list of all individuals with co-morbidities and the type of co-morbidities and chronic medication needs as well as pregnancy needs should be developed.
- Patients with co-morbidities, pregnant and those above the age of 60:
a. Should have SARS-COV 2 RT PCR testing and if negative allowed home with strict instructions to continue on self quarantine as per previous self-quarantine guidelines. This should be monitored
b. The home situation should be assessed to ensure that self quarantine is feasible.
c. Anyone who breaks self quarantine should be taken back to the government quarantine facility.
d. The self quarantine form should be signed before release of the individual.
e. At home the individuals should continue to monitor and record their temperature twice daily and promptly report any fever or other symptoms. This means that individuals must buy thermometers to monitor themselves at home.
f. Mandatory quarantine should not be waived for any other non-medical reasons.