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When can you return to work after testing positive?

(17 Posts)
Bennee35 Mon 27-Apr-20 14:43:27

I've just found out today that my mum who is 65 has tested positive for Covid. She is a care worker.
She appears to be asymptomatic as she has no symptoms at all and feels fine. Fingers crossed things stay this way.
She had the test done on Thursday and her agency have said as she is asymptomatic she will return to work this Saturday as long as she doesn't develop symptoms.
My mum feels uncomfortable going back without knowing if she will be negative for coronavirus. We have been trying to look up guidance for it but there is a lot of conflicting advice.
Does anyone know?

OP’s posts: |
DevonLulu Mon 27-Apr-20 14:46:39

Challenging. Unclear why she has been tested as asymptomatic

If she had symptoms, as a care worker (DPI:Im a GP) you must be off for 7 days post onset of symptoms, and if persistent temperatures after this time, a further 48 hours after they resolve, as long as you feel well. Can return with a cough after 7 days, if no temp and feeling well.

Not sure where to start the 7 day clock if asymptomatic. I guess, from testing but there is no reason not to follow the advice she has been give. Surely it is from a reputable source?

DevonLulu Mon 27-Apr-20 14:48:04

If it was last Thursday she was tested, and next Saturday to return, that is a 9-10 day interval, depending on testing / shift start time. So fine.

TerrapinStation Mon 27-Apr-20 14:50:57

I'm not a doctor so perhaps one can explain why being asymptomatic would make a difference. She knows she was positive on Thursday, is it not a case of waiting the set number of days before going back?

Is there evidence that someon with no syptoms remains infectious for longer than someone who does have them?

Can she ask for a further test in 10 days time or is there a reason that she needs to decide so far in advance?

ifonly4 Mon 27-Apr-20 14:53:40

It was originally 7 days as long as you don't have any symptons (and to be honest if you feel up to it).

Bennee35 Mon 27-Apr-20 14:55:04

She was tested as there was an outbreak in the care home she was working in so staff were being tested on the day she was there, which I suppose is a stroke of luck as she is asymptomatic so could have continued working around different care homes and spread it.

There is no reason not to follow the advice, it's coming from her employer who I would assume is using a reputable source for the information, we were just making sure as I think she feels worried that she could continue to pass it on.

OP’s posts: |
TerrapinStation Mon 27-Apr-20 15:00:33

we were just making sure as I think she feels worried that she could continue to pass it on

The obvious solution is to ask for another test, we're being told there is plenty of capacity now, has she been told she can't be re-elected?

Bennee35 Mon 27-Apr-20 15:01:58

Her agency have told her she won't be retested. Surely she must be able to ask for another test, it makes sense to test again to see if you are now negative.

OP’s posts: |
TerrapinStation Mon 27-Apr-20 15:13:25

Key workers can apply for their own tests now, she doesn't need to get it through her agency. I know the tests are going quickly but she can apply online.

DevonLulu Mon 27-Apr-20 15:15:01

She doesn’t need retesting.

7 days is fine, the UK guidance is that after this time she will no longer be shedding virus.

Employers advice is correct.

DevonLulu Mon 27-Apr-20 15:16:31

Terrapinststion - being asymptomatic just begs the question of why she was tested (clearly since been answered by OP) and this when to start the clock for the 7 days. No other implication

DevonLulu Mon 27-Apr-20 15:17:51

Thus not this

DevonLulu Mon 27-Apr-20 15:19:35

The reason for not retesting is they some people will continue to test Positive even after they have stopped being infectious. So that doesn’t help from a return to work perspective

TerrapinStation Mon 27-Apr-20 15:21:53

I wasn't referring to why she was tested devonlulu but as ifonly4 says the guidance has been related to symptoms so not quite so clear cut for those without them.

Do you know if the asymptomatic are infectious for a different period of time? By definition is must be very hard to know.

chubley Mon 27-Apr-20 15:44:29

It seems that people who are asymptomatic or only have it very mildly may be less infectious. So probably OK to return to work after 7 days, if they stay that way. Some people can test positive while pre-symptomatic, so if she develops symptoms during this period maybe her employer should agree to restart the clock for 7 days from the onset of symptoms (Fingers crossed for your mum that she doesn't start with symptoms).

TerrapinStation Mon 27-Apr-20 15:50:14

It seems that people who are asymptomatic or only have it very mildly may be less infectious

That's interesting, I hadn't read that, so 10 days would seem more then enough time to be off.

Bennee35 Mon 27-Apr-20 15:54:03

Thanks for your replies everyone. I will pass on the information about being able to get your own testing kit online but will also reassure her that 7 days is correct so she should be fine going to work on Saturday.
I've got my fingers crossed that she remains asymptomatic.

OP’s posts: |

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