It is important to note that there is a difference between being fully recovered and being ready to come out of isolation.
The following criteria are specified for de-isolation of a person who tests positive for COVID-19:
- Symptomatic patientswith mild disease (not requiring hospitalisation) can be de-isolated 10 days after the onset of their symptoms, provided their fever has resolved and their other symptoms are improving.
- Hospitalised patientswith moderate-to-severe disease (who require hospitalisation) can be de-isolated 10 days after achievement of clinical stability (i.e. from when they no longer require supplemental oxygen and are otherwise clinically stable).
- Asymptomatic patientscan be de-isolated 10 days after their test.
- Repeat PCR testing is not required to de-isolate a patient and is not recommended.
It is common for patients to continue to have symptoms for longer than the 10 days. Full recovery may take several weeks for some patients, especially in respect of symptoms such as fatigue, cough and anosmia (loss of sense of smell).
Patients who are still symptomatic at the end of their isolation period can be de-isolated provided that their fever has resolved and their other symptoms have shown improvement. Patients admitted to hospital can continue their isolation period at home or at an isolation facility once clinical stability has been achieved.