No follow-up test needed to be cleared of COVID-19 – Min. Anthony
Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony has confirmed that persons who had initially tested positive for COVID-19 do not need to have a follow-up test done to be medically cleared of the disease.
Dr. Anthony explained, “There is no need for another test because all the guidance that we have received from PAHO/WHO has been for about a month and a half now that there is no need for a second test. We have incorporated that into our guidelines and that is what we have been using.”
The Health Minister was at the time providing a COVID-19 update for the week. He explained that once a person is tested positive, they will be monitored for ten initial days. Once they are symptom-free, they will be monitored for three additional days and if they continue to be symptom-free then they will be discharged from institutional isolation facilities.
The Minister also posited that it may be out of an abundance of caution, persons are submitting themselves for a second test. However, he suggested this is needless and these follow-up tests would contribute to a backlog.
“This is absolutely unnecessary and …what you will be doing is clogging up the system because you do not need to retest. And for those persons who actually need the test, you are creating a backlog. So, we remind people once you have been in isolation after 13 days you can be discharged if you have no signs or symptoms,” he said.
If a person initially tests positive and manifests signs and symptoms they will be monitored and treated for symptoms. When those symptoms subside, the additional three-day monitoring period is applied and if no other symptom is shown, that person can be discharged.
Minister Anthony noted that after completing the mandated 13 days, once there are no signs or symptoms then the person is deemed not infectious and can be cleared by a doctor.
“They are not infectious. We would not want someone infectious to re-enter the public so the reason why we have this timeframe is to ensure that the person is not infectious.” (Department of Public Information)