Given Ascension’s extremely high-levels of vaccination, the removal of quarantine is likely to be initially disruptive at a community level rather than pose a significant risk to most individuals. To try and slow the spread of the virus through the community, anyone that tests positive will therefore be expected to self-isolate for at least five days.
Even if you initially test negative but feel too unwell to work, you should isolate for 48 hours and then get re-tested if you still feel unwell.
If after five days following a positive test you feel well again, you can end your period of self-isolation. You should however consider still wearing a mask and practise good hand hygiene for several days afterwards.
If after five days you are still feeling unwell due to symptoms of COVID-19 infection, you should take a lateral flow test (LFT). You should repeat this every 48 hours if you continue to test positive. You can end your isolation at any point during this time if you test negative, feel well, are no longer symptomatic or reach day 10 of your period of self-isolation.
What happens now?
You may want to consider taking some relatively easy and effective actions to protect yourself and others around you. You can:
- Wear a mask in public spaces
- Continue to maintain good hygiene practices (e.g. washing your hands regularly, sneezing into the crook of your arm, etc.)
- Keep windows open when in a room with others
- Stay at home if you have flu-like symptoms or test positive for COVID-19
- Consider not attending events where you know there will be a lot of people if you are feeling unwell
The public will be advised when the first case of COVID-19 is registered in the community and AIG will seek to provide weekly figures for the number of positive cases identified as the territory moves through this transition phase.
Further information and guidance on other issues related to the changes is available through Georgetown Hospital or your employer.
How do I go about arranging a test if I think I might have COVID-19?
If you have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 infection then you should arrange to take a test as soon as possible. Where you get tested will be based on where you live and who your employer is.
If you live on one of the military bases testing will need to be arranged through your base medical centre. RAF base staff should telephone 66310 and USAF base staff should telephone 62224. Anyone that does not live on a military base will need to arrange testing through Georgetown Hospital on 66252.
What happens if I test positive?
If you test positive you will be advised to self-isolate, given several home test kits and provided with an information pack to take away with you. The pack will include advice on how to monitor your own health, what is expected of you whilst you isolate and what process to follow to end your isolation. You should also refer to the guidance available on the AIG website at www.ascension.gov.ac/public-document/living-with-COVID-19.
Given other people might be positive but not yet identified, should I be going to work?
Although the risk posed by COVID-19 to vaccinated adults is low, employers want to ensure that large numbers of their employees do not catch COVID-19 at once and need to isolate, given this would significantly disrupt each organisation’s ability to continue operating.
Employers will therefore be implementing their own adaptions to working environments when quarantine requirements are removed. You should speak to your employer now to understand what these are likely to look like, and how your daily activities are likely to change.
Someone in my household / accommodation has tested positive, should I isolate?
Only those who test positive themselves, or who are unwell, are expected isolate. If someone in your household or accommodation has tested positive, you can take some reasonable steps to help prevent you catching COVID-19.
This can include ventilating the property with open windows and doors, masking indoors when and regularly washing your hands. If you begin to show signs of COVID-19 infection yourself then, in line with guidance, you should seek a test from Georgetown Hospital or one of the military base medical centres.
My employer says I’m a critical worker so I might be able to come to work despite testing positive?
As a small working island it is vital that critical services and business functions continue to operate during the initial transition period. As such, if workers who deliver critical functions test positive but are otherwise well enough to work, their employer may request that they come to work and continue working. This will be done in a risk assessed way to help minimise the chance that they pass on COVID-19 others.