askST: Can I go back to work if I still test positive for Covid-19 after seven days?

You will be automatically discharged from noon of the seventh day, and should receive a recovery memo from MOH. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Last month, Singapore made further changes to its Covid-19 protocols as the Omicron wave hit.

The maximum self-isolation period for vaccinated individuals was shortened from 10 to seven days.

People are also allowed to leave isolation if they test negative at least 72 hours after their first positive test.

These changes were intended to minimise potential service disruptions, given that significant proportions of the workforce may come down with the virus at the same time.

The Straits Times answers some questions on what individuals should do if they contract Covid-19.

Q: I tested positive for Covid-19 and was automatically discharged after seven days. I also received a recovery memo. However, I am still testing positive. What should I do?

A: You are free to go about your business as usual. According to the Health Ministry (MOH), this is because you are "highly unlikely" to be infectious by this time.

On Feb 24, the Manpower Ministry released an advisory stating that employees who test positive are advised to self-isolate for 72 hours, before doing a second test. If the second test is negative, they are free to return to work. 

If it is still positive, they should continue to self-isolate and test themselves daily until they get a negative result, or until noon of Day 7, whichever is earlier, before returning to work. If they are not vaccinated, they will have to wait until noon of Day 14.

However, those who continue to show symptoms should see a doctor.

Q: Do I need an exit test to prove that I am no longer infectious before I am discharged from the seven-day self-isolation?

A: No, you do not need to take a test.

You will be considered automatically discharged from noon of the seventh day, and should receive a recovery memo from MOH.

If you are not vaccinated and above the age of 12, the same protocols apply, except that you will be discharged at noon on Day 14 instead.

Q: I was told to self-isolate for seven days. However, I took an ART after 72 hours and my test result was negative. Can I get a recovery memo sent to me earlier so I can return to school or work?

A: There is no need for a recovery memo. Schools and employers should recognise your negative ART result as proof that you have recovered.

Q: I tested positive for Covid-19 at home, but did not see a doctor. Will my results be captured in MOH's daily case count? Will my close contacts receive health risk warnings?

A: No, your results will not be captured in the daily case count as there is no official record of your infection. Your close contacts will also not get a health risk warning.

If you have been in contact with someone who tested positive for Covid-19, but have not received a health risk warning, you should monitor your health over the next few days.

If you are feeling unwell and develop symptoms such as a cough, fever and sore throat, you should see a doctor. The doctor will give you advice on what to do next.

If you are well, but still concerned about your health, you can take an ART.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.