New discharge criteria announced for COVID-19 positive patients

by: - October 19, 2020
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After careful consultations with local consultants, public health officials within the Ministry of Health, and consultation and endorsement by both experts of the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the Ministry of Health, Wellness, and New Health Investments has announced a new discharge criterion for COVID-19 positive patients.

This new discharge criterion is for persons who are admitted at the isolation facilities both at St. James COVID in Portsmouth and the Isolation Unit at the Dominica China Friendship Hospital.

“Asymptomatic cases require two consecutive negative PCR test results taken in 24 hours apart following 10 days of isolation period,” David Johnson said.

He further added, “Asymptomatic cases and if they’re not cleared by PCR testing after 10 days of isolation the patient will continue to stay in isolation and complete a total of 3 weeks. So, we have gone way and beyond as we say in our local parlance that what WHO and CDC is advising. After completion of full 3 weeks, the patient should be discharged, or will be discharged without any further PCR testing.”

New discharge criterions are also in place for symptomatic patients.

For mild cases, two consecutive negative PCR result taken 24 hours apart following fourteen days of isolation period plus at least three addition days without any symptoms.

“If one or both of the PCR results are positive at the end of isolation or recovery period then the isolation period will be extended to one more week and discharged without any further testing. For our symptomatic and severe cases, those who require ventilation or ventilator will complete two 14-day cycles before being tested. If one or both of the PCR results are positive after the end of the two 14-day cycle then the patients will be discharged after a week following full recovery without a PCR test,” Chief Medical Officer, Dr. David Johnson noted.

These new discharge criteria’s are consistent with international recommendations and best practices.