In addition to saturating Primary Care services, the high incidence of cases registered during the sixth wave of the pandemic, caused by the greater transmissibility of the omicron variant, is causing havoc in the workplace due to the high number of casualties of workers who must keep quarantine in compliance with health protocols. At the end of December, the Public Health Commission decided to reduce the isolation period from ten to seven days. Now, the Ministry of Health of the Government of Canaria has adopted a “exceptional and temporary” measure to expedite the return to their jobs of certain profiles of patients who have tested positive for active COVID-19 infection or are close contacts of a confirmed case.
Once the mandatory quarantine period has expired, the Canarian Health Service (SCS) will automatically discharge patients, without the need for them to be summoned on the agenda by family doctors or to undergo another test, to patients who comply a series of requirements. Specifically, those who are 45 years old or younger and are vaccinated, do not have risk factors, have had the infection without symptoms or with mild symptoms and are unable to telework. The measure will also be applied to close immunosuppressed contacts and those who do not have the complete vaccination schedule and have not had the disease in the last 180 days. It must be remembered that close contacts without symptoms of the disease and with the full vaccination schedule no longer have to remain isolated, according to one of the latest updates to the protocols.
According to the letter sent to the Primary Care professionals by the Occupational Health Unit, patients will be informed of the discharge through an SMS message to the phone number registered on the health card. It is also recommended to inform the discharge date at the same time as the medical leave is issued, so that users know when to return to work if there is no previous clinical incidence. In the event that a patient who falls within one of the cases described requires that the isolation period be prolonged for medical reasons, the program will allow the discharge to be canceled until the healthcare professional decides.