People recovered from coronavirus still informed of isolation obligation

COVID-19 testing.
COVID-19 testing. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

The Health Board (Terviseamet) has an overview of people who have suffered through the coronavirus and who are not likely to get reinfected after six months of first contracting the virus. Nevertheless, they will still be informed if they are a close contact and they have to stay in isolation for two weeks.

Even those who have just returned to good health can receive an announcement from the Health Board that they have to stay in isolation for two weeks, even though the possibility to get infected is relatively low.

"The Health Board already has data of people who have caught the coronavirus. At present, the database doesn't allow automatic associating meaning if somebody was a close contact but had already caught the virus, then the database doesn't have the ability to make automatic associations, but we are hoping that these developments will be done in the near future for the process to be quicker and automatic," the Health Board's head of the department of communicable diseases, Hanna Sepp, said.

Until the solution is in the works, Sepp recommends contacting Health Board inspectors about the coronavirus, as they can eliminate the obligation to stay in isolation.

Sepp said that the coronavirus test will give a positive result 67 days after getting infected. This is why the people who have caught the virus before coming to Estonia have to take the test, but they don't have to stay in isolation when their doctor has issued a document of them being healthy.

"We recommend people who have already caught the virus and are now healthy still wear a mask to avoid misunderstandings or getting infected again," Sepp added.

Lithuania announced that next week, residents of care homes whose blood doesn't have the antibodies indicating having suffered from the virus already will be vaccinated. University of Tartu's virology professor Andres Merits said that the people who have recently suffered from the virus should get the vaccine, he doesn't consider the antibodies test reasonable.

"The question is if it's worth it and besides the vaccine receivers and the people who have already caught the virus have at least one big difference: the situation of the vaccine receivers is much more standard because people will receive the same dose of the vaccine and it will be administered the same way and in that sense, the variety in this group should theoretically be much smaller than in the case of people who have suffered from the virus in different ways and during different times," Merits explained.

Since people should be vaccinated against influenza every autumn, then the coronavirus doesn't change the situation much, Merits added.


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Editor: Roberta Vaino

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