Step-by-step guide: What to do if you're a notified close contact of a Covid-19 case

The new normal.

Tanya Ong | September 14, 2021, 06:01 PM

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It was announced last week by Multi-Ministry Taskforce that healthcare protocols will be adjusted as Singapore moves being a Covid-19 resilient nation.

This includes adjustments made to the Home Quarantine Protocol, as well as home recovery being the default for more fully vaccinated persons who test positive.

What happens if you're notified to be a close contact of a Covid-19 positive case

On Sep. 14, the Ministry of Health (MOH) laid out eight steps for people who have received an electronic Quarantine Order (eQO) via SMS.

This eQO will indicate the quarantine period and instructions to book PCR tests at a Regional Screening Centre near your home.

Here are the eight steps you will need to take:

Step 1

Go home immediately and self-isolate in your own room, preferably with attached bathroom. Keep room well-ventilated by keeping windows open. Make sure there is no physical contact with your household members.

Step 2

You will need to undergo quarantine at your place of residence for 10 days from the date of exposure.

Step 3

You are not allowed to go out except to travel to designated centres for your Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests. You will also be given instructions to access 24/7 telemedicine service.

Step 4

You are required to take PCR tests at the start and end of the 10-day QO. Follow your eQO instructions to book your PCR tests online and attend the tests at a Regional Screening Centre near your home. Make your own way to the Regional Screening Centre to take your PCR tests. Your doctor will inform you of your results within 24 to 48 hours. Alternatively, you may check your results via HealthHub.

Step 5

At the Regional Screening Centre, you will collect free ART kits at the same time. During the entire QO period, you are required to do a self-administered Antigen Rapid Test (ART) every day and report your ART results by 12 pm. You are to submit your results here.

Step 6

Prior to the end of the 10 days of quarantine, you will need to book an appointment similar to your entry PCR test and make your own way to the RSC again to take your exit PCR test.

Step 7

Should you receive a Health Risk Warning or Health Risk Alert at the same time as the eQO, do note that quarantine takes precedence.

Step 8

On Day 10, if your PCR test is negative, you will receive a rescindment SMS and your QO will end. For your own protection, continue with daily self-administered ART from Days 11 to 14.

Difference between Health Risk Warning (HRW) and Health Risk Alerts (HRA)

For people who have received a Health Risk Warning (HRW) SMS, they will need to take one PCR test upon receiving the notice and self-isolate until they receive a negative PCR test result. At the end of HRW, they will need to take another PCR test.

For Health Risk Alerts (HRA) SMSes, they are strongly encouraged to come forward for a free PCR test. Even though there are no movement restrictions, they should minimise interactions with people and monitor their health for the next 10 days.

Top photo by Darryl Laiu.