Government should soon be implementing a home quarantine and isolation programme.
This was disclosed this morning during a virtual press conference at Ilaro Court.
First Vice President of the Barbados Association of Medical Practitioners (BAMP) and the new Consultant Manager of Home Quarantine, Dr. Adanna Grandison, spoke about the difference between the two terms.
Dr. Grandison shared that the implementation of the programme is an attempt to “safely allow persons to stay at home” and quarantine or isolate, while ensuring that they are safe to themselves and the community.
She noted that the programme has strict criteria which include a home assessment to determine if a person’s home is fit-for-purpose, and “at every single step of the way, both for the home quarantine or home isolation programme, we have medical professionals, whether they are doctors, nurses, paramedics, who will be in contact with each and every single person in the programme”.
Those persons who will be considered for the programme are individuals who meet the lowest category of risk; are vaccinated and asymptomatic.
Dr. Grandison explained that under home quarantine, persons who are primary contacts of a COVID-19 positive patient, and have an unknown COVID-19 status will be considered for home quarantine.
She said during this period, persons would be monitored and assessed for COVID-19 symptoms, and at the end of it, “we will test those persons with a PCR test, which is the gold standard for testing, and provided that that person is negative, that person is then released, and can move around, freely”.
In the case of home isolation, the BAMP official stated that once persons receive a positive COVID-19 test result, they would first be taken to an isolation facility to be assessed by Dr. Corey Forde and his team.
Once they have been assessed, a determination about their status in terms of symptomatology, comorbidity profile and vaccination status would be used to determine their risk stratification.
Dr. Grandison said upon completion of their assessment and after a short stay within an isolation facility, persons can then apply for home isolation.
“Once approved, this person will now be allowed to safely isolate at home with the constant monitoring of health care professionals. It will occur daily; it will occur at random. In addition to that, we also have technological measures in place, in terms of GPS monitoring bracelets to ensure that you do what you’re supposed to do.… We want to put that additional mechanism in place to ensure that persons stay at home and do what they’re supposed to do….
“On top of that, there’s another layer, which you will have random check ins with healthcare professionals, who may for instance, not necessarily turn up at your door and knock on it, but may ask you just to present yourself to the door, to ensure that you are there and what we are seeing is actually true,” Dr. Grandison explained.
The Consultant Manager of Home Quarantine urged persons to be honest in providing their information during assessment. “We encourage you please to be very honest; when you get a history taken, tell us about your symptoms.”
She stressed that the provision of honest information would be important in determining the level of monitoring a person would require during the isolation period.
“…Persons who have comorbidities, for instance, comorbidities such as hypertension, especially poorly controlled hypertension, diabetes, poorly control diabetes, heart disease [and] respiratory disease; we’ve also found that persons who are obese or any immune suppressed persons, these are persons who we need to monitor closely, simply because they have the possibility of deteriorating, or getting very ill, very quickly,” Dr. Grandison emphasised.
The Consultant Manager of Home Quarantine stated that the implementation of home isolation was nothing new, and it had been done in international countries such as Canada and Australia.