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Ministry of Health says ministry, not employers, employees, decides who gets swabbed at public clinics when an employee tests COVID-19 positive

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Posted: Wednesday, September 1, 2021. 8:22 pm CST.

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: The Ministry of Health & Wellness (MOHW) says the Ministry, not employers nor employees, will decide who gets swabbed at public health facilities when an employee tests positive for COVID-19, plus it’s advising employers to allow as much working at home as possible to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

“Effective September 1, 2021, work contacts will not be swabbed at any of the public health facilities unless information determined through contact tracing is sent by the Ministry of Health & Wellness contact tracing personnel,” said the MOHW.

“Employers and supervisors are asked to kindly avoid sending staff to be swabbed at the clinics, but rather to wait for MOHW to conduct a proper contact tracing exercise to determine who are the true close contacts to a positive case.”

The MOHW said it is recommending that the appropriate time for persons to be tested COVID-19 is three to five days after a person was exposed to an infected person.

The MOHW said that when a member of a household tests positive for COVID-19 and is isolated at home, that all persons who live in that home must be quarantined because all are considered exposed to the disease. After the 14-day quarantine period is over, health care personnel will advise those persons on how to get their clearance letter.

The MOHW is now recommending employers to allow as much working at home as possible. For those who cannot, the MOHW is advising that employers use a shift system to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

The Ministry says that to reduce the spread of COVID-19, “all public health measures at the workplace, including using facemasks, avoiding group breakfast or lunch, and avoiding face-to-face meetings and all social gatherings.”

“All public health facilities will continue to see persons with flu-like symptoms as well as persons determined to be close contacts by the MOHW team at health facilities,” the MOHW concluded.

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