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Experts cautious after reduction of the length of solitary confinement for some | Coronavirus

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British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and New Brunswick have each announced shorter isolation periods for vaccinated people who test positive for COVID-19.

The entry into force of the new measures varies from province to province.

For Ontario and Saskatchewan, the changes are immediate. In British Columbia and Manitoba, the new measures come into effect on Saturday. In Alberta, the change will take effect on January 3, and in New Brunswick, on January 4.

According to the new guidelines, vaccinated people who test positive for COVID-19 should only self-isolate for a minimum of 5 days after the date of onset of their symptoms or a positive test, instead of 10 days, currently.

After five days, if their symptoms have improved or decreased for at least 24 hours, they can end the isolation period. But they must always hide and respect the physical distance.

On the other hand, no change in the 10-day timeframe is foreseen for unvaccinated people.

In the announcement Friday, Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said the decision was based on evidence that fully vaccinated people shed the virus for a shorter period of time when infection breaks out.

Meanwhile, in Ontario, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr Kieran Moore said Thursday that% of the risk of viral transmission has already passed after 5days “,” text “:” 90% of the risk of viral transmission has already expired after 5 days “}} ‘>90% of the risk of viral transmission has already passed after 5 days.

We know from studies that if people have a rapid rise, they will have a rapid drop in the amount of virus they shed. , said Dr. Moore.

He also said that about 40% of the spread actually occurs in the two days before symptoms appear.

Caution

Montreal cardiologist and epidemiology graduate Dr Christopher Labos noted that it is clear that the further away we are from the onset of infection, the less infectious we are.

Even if he said he understood the reasoning behind this approach, he wonders if the implementation of these measures is a good idea.

I’m not sure in the current environment where we have a variant of Omicron that spreads very quickly, now is the time to really shorten those requirements., added Dr Labos.

Infectious disease specialist and University of Alberta associate professor Dr. Lynora Saxinger said the move is in part pragmatic, noting that the additional benefit becomes a bit questionable.

University of Ottawa epidemiologist and associate professor Raywat Deonandan said the changes announced are risky because they are based on an average, and could lead to infectious people mixing with them. healthy people.

days or more “,” text “:” Some people can be infectious for three days, others for 12 days or more “}}”>Some people can be infectious for three days, others for 12 days or more, he stressed.

What is worrying is that we have people returning to society with suspected infection and infectivity without a negative test clearing them.

Mr Deonandan said rapid tests could be deployed strategically so people can test themselves outside of isolation.

Encourage rapid testing and address the worker shortage

The actions taken this week follow similar actions taken by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States, which also reduced the period of isolation there.

According to Saskatchewan Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr Saqib Shahab, reducing the isolation period encourages rapid testing and is likely to break the chains of transmission more proactively.

Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw suggested, for her part, that analysis shows that shorter isolation periods are easier to adhere to than longer periods.

Alberta Health Minister Jason Copping was one of many officials to highlight the worker shortage.

We’re making these changes to avoid disrupting Alberta’s workforce, especially the one that provides the services Albertans rely on., he justified.

With information from Gillian Wheatley

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