Screening

Management of contacts

People who may have been exposed to individuals with suspected COVID-19 (including healthcare workers) should be advised to monitor their health for 14 days from the last day of possible contact. A contact is a person who is involved in any of the following from 2 days before, and up to 14 days after, the onset of symptoms in the patient:[155]

  • Face-to-face contact with a COVID-19 patient within 1 metre (3 feet) for more than 15 minutes¬†

  • Providing direct care for patients with COVID-19 without using proper personal protective equipment

  • Staying in the same close environment (e.g., workplace, classroom, household, gathering) as a COVID-19 patient for any amount of time

  • Travelling in close proximity within 1 metre (3 feet) with a COVID-19 patient in any kind of conveyance

  • Other situations as indicated by local risk assessments.

If a contact develops symptoms, they should notify the receiving facility, wear a medical mask while travelling to seek care, avoid taking public transport (e.g., call an ambulance or use a private vehicle), perform respiratory and hand hygiene, sit as far away from others as possible in transit, and clean any contaminated surfaces.

Screening of travellers

Exit and entry screening may be recommended in countries where borders are still open, particularly when repatriating nationals from affected areas. Travellers returning from affected areas should self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days and follow local protocols of the receiving country. Some countries may require returning travellers to enter quarantine. Travellers who develop symptoms are advised to contact their local health care provider, preferably by phone.[156]

Drive-through screening centres

Drive-through screening centres have been set up in some countries for safer and more efficient screening. The testee does not leave their car throughout the entire process, which includes registration and questionnaire, examination, specimen collection, and instructions on what to do after. This method has the advantage of increased testing capacity and prevention of cross-infection between testees in the waiting space.[157]

Use of this content is subject to our disclaimer