New advice for hospital workers who come down with Covid-19 means they will have to keep isolating after ten days if lateral flow tests come back positive.
A memo sent to staff of the Mid and South Essex Hospitals Trust by the Chief Medical Officer has advised any staff who contract Covid-19 that they must carry on isolating after the initial ten day period if lateral flow tests continue to come back positive.
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This is despite official government advice that anyone who has tested positive from a PCR test should not be tested using a PCR or rapid lateral flow tests for 90 days, unless they develop new symptoms during this time.
There have been some reports of people testing positive for weeks after contracting covid.
The Mid and South Essex Hospitals Trust, which runs Broomfield, Basildon and Southend Hospitals, said the advice from the memo, sent by Chief Medical Officer David Walker, was issued directly from The Department of Health.
The memo, seen by EssexLive, said that workers who test positive may come out of isolation sooner than ten days if they test negative on both day six and seven of isolation, and that they do not have any Covid-related symptoms.
It said: “You should continue to take daily lateral flow tests on day eight, nine and ten of your isolation period. If anyone of these lateral flow test results are positive you should isolate and wait 24 hours before taking the next lateral flow test.
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“If the lateral flow test is positive on the tenth day, daily lateral flow tests should continue and you should not return to work until a negative lateral flow test is received.”
Mr Walker also said workers should take a test as close to the start point of their shift as possible, and wear PPE throughout the day.
The memo stressed if the conditions could not be met, staff must isolate for the full ten-day period.
The Department of Health have been contacted for comment.
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