On April 8, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced that it has drawn up the Guidelines for Home Care Management of Confirmed COVID-19 Cases and urges the public to follow the guidelines. Key points are listed below.
A. Individuals with confirmed infection should be younger than 65 years, have no or mild symptoms, and should not be pregnant or on kidney dialysis. People who live with confirmed cases and do not have COVID-19 should be younger than 65 years and not pregnant or not on kidney dialysis. Unless for necessary caring needs, confirmed cases are not allowed to isolate with people 65 years or older, pregnant women, or kidney dialysis patients, who are not infected, in the same residence.
B. Requirements for the environment at home:
a. Imported cases:
1. Individuals who follow the one person per residence rule and quarantine at home can continue to isolate at home if they are confirmed to have COVID-19 during or before the end of their quarantine period.
2. In principle, home care is not applicable to other imported cases.
B. Domestic cases:
1. The one person per room (en-suite room) principle should be followed. Cohabitants with confirmed infection may share a room. Cases can isolate in a room without a bathroom if a shared bathroom can be cleaned and disinfected after each use. Cases must practice a seven-day self-health management after being released from isolation.
2. Cohabitants without confirmed infection: isolate in separate rooms in the same residence; in principle, the number of cohabitants without infection who isolate in the same residence should not exceed four. Such cohabitants should undergo isolation until ten days after the first day when the last confirmed case in the household was diagnosed to be infected. They should take at-home rapid tests on the fifth and tenth day of their isolation period (every three days if there is a new confirmed case in the household). After being released from isolation, they should practice enhanced self-health management for seven days and take an at-home rapid test on the third and seventh day.
C. Home care and case management:
a. Isolation: confirmed cases meeting the above requirements will be given a COVID-19 Designated Location Isolation Notice and be informed to isolate at home by local governments which manage cases through the Digital Fencing System and send text messages to them for follow-up care.
b. During isolation:
1. Local governments set up a COVID-19 care and support center for confirmed cases to provide support and distribute rapid test kits; local governments would provide pulse oximeters or arrange telemedicine service or hospital referrals if necessary.
2. During the isolation period, confirmed cases should follow the precautions for confirmed COVID-19 cases and pay attention to the following matters:
(1) Fill out the COVID-19 Self-administered Contact Tracing Form, voluntarily report symptoms, risk factors and close contacts, and contact their close contacts and ask them to do self-screening and self-monitoring for ten days.
(2) Closely monitor symptoms. If shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, persistent chest pain, chest tightness, loss of consciousness, blue skin, lips or nails or other symptoms develops, they should call 119 or 1922 or contact their local health department.
(3) If other symptoms develop or medical needs arise, they are advised to seek telemedicine or contact home care medical teams for assessment.
3. Cohabitants without infection should follow the precautions for contacts of COVID-19 cases and guidance on caring for COVID-19 patients at home and should pay attention to the following matters:
(1) Monitor health status and observe for fever, coughing and other related symptoms. (2) Observe the one person per room rule at home and avoid sharing bathrooms and leaving their room. If it is necessary to share bathrooms, bathrooms should be cleaned and disinfected with diluted bleach and alcohol after each use.
(3) Windows in shared spaces should remain open to ensure good ventilation. Clean and disinfect all high-touch surfaces with diluted bleach and alcohol every day.
(4) COVID-19 patients should wear a mask after leaving their room and using the bathroom. Both cohabitants and confirmed cases must wear masks when cohabitants enter confirmed cases' rooms or come into contact with them, and cohabitants must practice hand hygiene before and after caring for confirmed cases.
c. Criteria for release from isolation:
1. Confirmed cases: need to meet the following two criteria before being released from isolation and should practice a 7-day self-health management after release
(1) For cases with symptoms, resolution of fever for at least one day, and abatement of symptoms.
(2) The result of an at-home rapid test taken 10 or more days after the onset of symptoms or the date of specimen collection is negative or such a result remains positive but the result of a PCR test is negative or the Ct value is ≥30.
2. Cohabitants without confirmed infection: 10 or more days have passed since the date when the last confirmed case in the household was diagnosed to be infected, and everyone undergoing isolation in the household (including confirmed cases undergoing isolation) test negative by rapid testing; individuals without infection undergoing isolation in the same household can be released from isolation, and they should practice enhanced self-health management for seven days and take a rapid test both on the third and seventh day. A result from a rapid test taken as mentioned above remains positive but the PCR test result is negative or the Ct value is ≥30, such result is considered negative, and the individual can be considered as meeting the criteria.
For details, please view the guidelines at https://www.cdc.gov.tw/File/Get/xayf3fOK1WhYv3pVqIM2tQ (Chinese only).