Suspect cases and associated individuals no longer self-isolating
The Ascension Island Government (AIG) can confirm that the cases identified as possible Coronavirus (COVID-19) on Monday 16 March have tested negative for COVID-19.
Following air passengers arriving on Ascension on 14 March displaying cold-like symptoms, two of these three individuals were identified as possible COVID-19 index cases. Index cases are potential first patients who may have unwittingly passed on the virus to others without knowing. As such, swab samples were taken and flown off island for analysis. On Sunday 22 March the AIG received confirmation that both of these tests had returned negative results for the presence of COVID-19.
Therefore as of today, Monday 23 March, Ascension has had no confirmed cases of COVID-19. In light of these results the hospital contacted the individuals asked to self-isolate as a precaution and informed them that self-isolation was no longer required.
Notwithstanding these developments the advice to the wider public remains the same, anyone who develops a new persistent dry cough, a fever or experiences unexpected shortness of breath should go home, self-isolate and telephone the hospital on 66252. If the hospital advises you to begin self-isolation measures please ensure you follow their advice carefully.
The AIG has issued guidance on self-isolation and on steps individuals may wish to take to help prevent them contracting the virus. These are available on the AIG website at www.ascension.gov.ac/government/public-documents and through your employer.
The authorities on Ascension continue to liaise with authorities in the UK, St Helena and Public Health England to coordinate and develop our approach to this evolving situation, and information will continue to be communicated regularly to the community as the situation evolves.