Self Isolation Guidelines

In my opinion the UK and Scottish govt have used a narrower range of symptoms and a shorter self isolation period than other countries and than the WHO recommends. For us to come out of lockdown and for TTI to work effectively I think we need to have stricted guidelines in place for it than currently seems the plan e.g.

1. A wider range of symptoms such as sore throat, loss of taste/smell/fatigue triggered a suspected case and TTI approach - especially as lots of people with no/mild/atypical symptoms are later found to have had the virus. My husband and I both had a sore throat and felt fatigued but under current guidelines that would not be cause for us to self isolate but I think there is good reason to think it could have been the virus and in other countries (e.g. Australia) we would have been advised to self isolate.
2. The Scottish govt plan states that a person is tested and if that person tests positive contact tracing starts but I think contact tracing and all contacts self isolating should start from symptoms reported. If negative test then they can all go back out. But if we wait for a positive test the contacts could already be spreading the virus so we need to take a much more cautionary approach
3. Self isolation after a positive test or contact with someone should be 14 days as recommended by WHO and other countries. We don't know enough about this virus to assume after 7 days someone is safe to go out again and so again I think a more cautionary approach is required.
4. Schools to remain close until virus is much more surpressed - I know this has a big impact on parents and education but if we want to use TTI effectively if a parent reports symptoms would contact tracing not then lead to an entire class being told to self isolate or even a whole school as all of those people who now have been in contact with someone for >15 minutes. The risks are too high and to parents and education it seems more disruptive while we use TTI to have kids going to school. After summer if infections are few and far between using this model the risk of this happening is such a disruptive and risky way is much lower and safe to open with a fresh start and a fresh term. Education can be caught up in the future but lives lost cannot.

Why the contribution is important

Because I believe that TTI is the best way out of lockdown and has worked very well in other counties along with a range of other measures but I am worried we are not following the science closely enough that it will be effective enough and if this doesn't work I am scared for when I will see family again or feel safe to see shielded parents. We need to adopt the most stringent possible TTI system which takes real and full account of the fact that we don't know enough about this virus and so errs on the side of overly cautious. Also the UK public seem to struggle to socially distance to any great degree from my observations so once lockdown eases to me there is a high risk of closer than 2m contact and so we need to be able to isolate people where needed and as quickly as possible.

by AK on May 06, 2020 at 11:31AM

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