The difference between quarantine and isolation - COVID-19

quarantine
Piotr Kłodziński|
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For many months, the world has been facing a pandemic of infections with the SARS-CoV-2 pathogen. SARS-CoV-2 is a virus belonging to the coronavirus group and causing an acute infectious respiratory disease - COVID-19.

Due to the current epidemiological situation, based on Regulation of the Minister of Health of March 20, 2020 on the declaration of an epidemic in the territory of the Republic of Poland (i.e. Journal of Laws 2020, item 491, as amended) on the territory of Poland from March 20, 2020, valid until further notice state of epidemic.

The legal act regulating the prevention of infectious diseases is: Act of December 5, 2008 on preventing and combating infections and infectious diseases in humans (consolidated text: Journal of Laws of 2020, item 1845, as amended) - next: uzzz Recipes uzzz applies to COVID-19 infections pursuant to § 1 Regulation of the Minister of Health of February 27, 2020 on SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infection (Journal of Laws of 2020, item 325) issued pursuant to Art. 3 section 2 uzzz

Pursuant to art. 5 uzzz the main instruments limiting the spread of COVID-19 are:

  1. quarantine
  2. insulation

Issues quarantine and isolation in connection with COVID-19 regulates in detail Regulation of the Minister of Health of April 6, 2020 on infectious diseases resulting in the obligation to hospitalize, isolate or isolate at home and the obligation to quarantine or epidemiological supervision (Journal of Laws of 2020, item 607, as amended) - next: decree of April 6, 2020

Significant changes to the above regulation were introduced, effective from September 2, 2020. Regulation of the Minister of Health of September 1, 2020 amending the regulation on infectious diseases resulting in the obligation to hospitalize, isolate or isolate at home and the obligation to quarantine or epidemiological surveillance (Journal of Laws 2020, item 1506) and amendment effective from October 24, 2020 Regulation of the Council of Ministers of October 9, 2020 on the establishment of certain restrictions, orders and prohibitions in connection with the occurrence of an epidemic (Journal of Laws 2020, item 1758, as amended) – next: decree of October 9, 2020

What is quarantine legally?

Act of December 5, 2008 on preventing and combating infections and infectious diseases in humans explicit contains the legal definition of quarantine. Pursuant to art. 2 point 12 u. zzz quarantine means the isolation of a healthy person who has been exposed to infection in order to prevent the spread of particularly dangerous and highly infectious diseases.

In the light of applicable regulations quarantine is imposed on the person who

  • had contact with the source of infection;
  • or shows symptoms of coronavirus infection;
  • or for reasons of crossing the Polish border with a country outside the European Union;

A person who shows symptoms of infection is subject to quarantine coronavirus and is awaiting the result of a COVID-19 test.

A person who runs the same household (living together) with or lives with a person diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 virus infection is subject to quarantine. Quarantine begins on the day a person diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 infection obtains a positive test result and lasts 7 days from the date of completion of isolation of the person suffering from COVID. Quarantine is automatic - it does not require a decision from the sanitary inspection authority. The obligation to undergo quarantine results from the operation of law.

Moreover, in accordance with § 2 section 2 point 2 decree of October 9, 2020 persons who have crossed the state border of the Republic of Poland with non-EU countries are also subject to mandatory quarantine, with the exception of a number of exceptions included in § 3 decree of October 9, 2020 It should be emphasized that - in accordance with the addition to § 2 decree of October 9, 2020. paragraph 2a – organ the sanitary inspection does not issue a decision to refer the above-mentioned people to quarantine, so the obligation to undergo quarantine in this case results from the law itself.

Quarantine for people who crossed the border

Moreover, in accordance with § 2 section 2 point 2 decree of October 9, 2020 persons who have crossed the state border of the Republic of Poland with non-EU countries are also subject to mandatory quarantine, with the exception of a number of exceptions included in § 3 decree of October 9, 2020 It should be emphasized that - in accordance with the addition to § 2 decree of October 9, 2020. paragraph 2a – organ the sanitary inspection does not issue a decision to refer the above-mentioned people to quarantine, so the obligation to undergo quarantine in this case results from the law itself.

Persons listed in § are not subject to mandatory quarantine after crossing the state border of the Republic of Poland with non-EU countries. 3 resolution of October 9, 2020. These include: citizens of the Republic of Poland and foreigners who are spouses or children of citizens of the Republic of Poland or are under the constant care of citizens of the Republic of Poland; citizens of EU Member States, Member States of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) - parties to the Agreement on the European Economic Area or the Swiss Confederation, and their spouses and children, as well as a number of professional groups.

Importantly, from October 24, 2020, pursuant to the amendment decree of October 9, 2020 § 5 imposing the obligation to quarantine with household members was repealed. People living with a person undergoing quarantine are not covered by it.

It should also be emphasized that from October 24 - in accordance with the added § 5a to decree of October 9, 2020. – the obligation to undergo quarantine does not apply to a person who has completed hospitalization, isolation or isolation at home due to the diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 virus infection.

From November 3, 2020, also a person practicing a medical profession within the meaning of Art. 2 section 1 point 2 of the Act of April 15, 2011 on medical activities are not subject to quarantine.

Shortening the quarantine

Pursuant to Art. 34 section 2 uzzz, persons who have been exposed to an infectious disease or have been in contact with a source of a biological pathogen and do not show symptoms of disease, if the sanitary inspection authorities so decide, are subject to mandatory quarantine for a period not longer than 21 days, counting from the day following the last day of exposure or contact, respectively.

In justified cases pursuant to § 3 section 4 decree of October 9, 2020 the state district sanitary inspector decides to shorten the quarantine period or exempt from the obligation to undergo it.

If staying on quarantine notices symptoms of COVID-19 infection, such as, among others: fever above 38 degrees Celsius, shortness of breath or loss of smell or taste, you should immediately contact your family doctor. The family doctor will agree with the patient on further necessary actions, in particular he may order a test for the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

If a positive test result is obtained, the person is obliged to isolate in accordance with § 2 section 2 decree of April 6, 2020 based on Article. 34 section uzzz

Please remember that in accordance with Art. 34 section 4 uzzz a person sent to quarantine is strictly prohibited from leaving the quarantine place. This prohibition in accordance with § 3a section 3 decree of October 9, 2020 is suspended for the time of going to the place of collection of biological material for laboratory diagnosis of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and returning to the place of quarantine or isolation at home. The decision to order quarantine may be imposed pursuant to Art. 33 uzz from the state district sanitary inspector or the state border sanitary inspector.

An appeal against the inspector's decision may be made to the voivodeship inspector via the inspector who issued the decision within 14 days from the date of its delivery. If the appeal is not accepted, a complaint may be filed against the decision of the appeal body to the provincial administrative court. It must be submitted within 30 days from the date of delivery of the decision of the appeal body, via the appellate body.

Moreover, in accordance with Art. . 35 section 1 uzz z in the event of suspicion or diagnosis of a particularly dangerous and highly contagious disease, the doctor admitting to a hospital, place of isolation or quarantine, guided by his own assessment of the degree of threat to public health, shall subject a person suspected of suffering from a particularly dangerous and highly contagious disease to or a person at risk of infection, hospitalization, isolation or quarantine and testing, also if the indicated person does not consent to hospitalization, isolation, quarantine or testing.

The employer is obliged to recognize the employee's absence as justified based on the decision of the state district sanitary inspector to quarantine in accordance with § 3 point 2 Regulation of the Minister of Labor and Social Policy of May 15, 1996. (Journal Laws of 2015, item 1632). During the employee's absence from work labor law, clearly states that you are entitled to sickness benefit under Art. 6 section 2 point 1 Act of 25 June 1999 on cash benefits from social insurance in the event of sickness and maternity (Journal Laws of 2019, item 645).

To sum up, quarantine is temporary. It is used to stop the transmission of the virus. It is used for a healthy person. If during quarantine it turns out that the person subject to quarantine is suffering from COVID-19, the statutory instrument used is changed. It is used from the moment the infection is confirmed insulation.

When is insulation used?

Pursuant to art. 2 point 11 uzzz Isolation involves isolating a person or group of people suffering from an infectious disease or a person or group of people suspected of having an infectious disease in order to prevent the transmission of a biological pathogen to other people.

In the light of Art. 34 section 4 point 1 uzzz Two types of insulation should be distinguished:

  1. isolation at home;
  2. isolation outside the home;

Home isolation pursuant to art. 2 points 11a uzzz consists in isolating a sick person with an infectious disease that does not require absolute hospitalization for medical reasons in his or her place of residence or stay in order to prevent the spread of particularly dangerous and highly infectious diseases. Pursuant to § 2 section 2 decree of April 6, 2020. home isolation is used for people who test positive for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus if they do not show symptoms of the disease or its course is mild - for example, they have a low-grade fever or a cough.

People infected with SARS-CoV-2 whose condition requires hospitalization are directed by a doctor to isolation outside their home in a hospital.

Ending isolation

End insulation pursuant to § 3a section 2 point 1 decree of April 6, 2020. may occur after 3 days - if the infected person does not have fever or symptoms of respiratory infection - but not earlier than 13 days from the date of symptoms - in the case of a patient with clinical symptoms. In addition, the doctor caring for the patient or the primary care physician may extend the isolation period, but not earlier than on the 8th day of isolation.

Alternatively, pursuant to § 3a section 2 point 2 decree of April 6, 2020. isolation may end after 10 days from the date of obtaining the first positive diagnostic test result for SARS-CoV-2 - in the case of a patient without clinical symptoms, unless a primary care physician who provided teleconsultation or home advice no earlier than eight during this isolation period will extend its duration.

In the case of immunoincompetent patients pursuant to § 3a section 4 decree of April 6, 2020. the isolation period may be extended to 20 days. The decision on this matter is made by the doctor caring for the patient in a hospital or isolation facility, or by a primary care physician in the case of a patient undergoing home isolation.

Pursuant to § 3a section 4 point 2 decree of April 6, 2020. in special situations, isolation may be ended after obtaining two negative test results for SARS-CoV-2 from samples taken at least 24 hours apart, regardless of the number of days that have passed since the last positive result and the type of clinical symptoms. This possibility includes, among others: people practicing a medical profession or people caring for people staying in social welfare homes.

Similarly to the procedure in the case of quarantine, the employer - based on the decision of the state district sanitary inspector to send the employee to isolation - is obliged to consider the employee's absence as justified in such a case in accordance with § 3 point 2 Regulation of the Minister of Labor and Social Policy of May 15, 1996 (Journal of Laws of 2015, item 1632). Moreover, during the period of absence from work, the employee will be entitled to sickness benefit in accordance with Art. 6 section 2 point 1 Act of 25 June 1999 on cash benefits from social insurance in the event of sickness and maternity (Journal of Laws of 2019, item 645).

Pursuant to art. 15 uzzn Act of March 2, 2020 on special solutions related to the prevention, counteracting and combating of COVID-19, other infectious diseases and crisis situations caused by them (i.e. Journal of Laws, item 1842, as amended) against a person violating the obligation of hospitalization, quarantine or isolation in connection with the prevention, counteracting or combating of COVID-19, imposed by the competent authority or resulting from legal provisions, the state district sanitary inspector imposes, by way of a decision, an administrative fine of up to PLN 30,000 on the person violating such an obligation. Determination of a violation of the above-mentioned obligation may occur in particular on the basis of Police findings.

Moreover, failure to comply with a decision imposing the obligation to undergo quarantine or isolation may, pursuant to Art. 116 § 1 Act of May 20, 1971, Petty Offenses Code (consolidated text: Journal of Laws of 2019, item 821, as amended) generate liability for an offense consisting in failure to comply with orders or prohibitions on the prevention of infectious diseases. In the event of an offense, the maximum fine is PLN 5,000.

Summary

In summary, both quarantine and isolation are used to stop the transmission of the virus and are temporary in nature. Quarantine is applied to a healthy person who, among others: has had contact with an infected person, while isolation is applied to a person with a positive test result for SARS-CoV-2. If during quarantine it turns out that the person subject to quarantine is suffering from COVID-19, the statutory instrument used is changed and isolation is applied to the sick person from the moment the infection is confirmed.

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