[Ask Dr Chiu] What should we do if we live close to COVID-19 infected patients?

[Ask Dr Chiu] What should we do if we live close to COVID-19 infected patients?

[Ask Dr Chiu] What should we do if we live close to COVID-19 infected patients?



5  Mins Read

As Hong Kong experienced the second wave of outbreak of COVID-19. There is  increasing chance that we will live close to infected patients or those who were under compulsory home quarantine. There are common questions around,

If there is a person in my building who was diagnosed COVID-19, what should I do?

If my neighbor requires home quarantine, will I be at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19?

If my family requires home quarantine, should I go to work?

Indeed, the risk of contraction will be mitigated if we are well prepared with sufficient prevention. Here are what you need to do if these three situations are around you.

1.      Confirmed cases in my building

If a neighbor is unfortunately confirmed withCOVID-19, the Centre of Health Protection (CHP) will immediately isolate that person into a public hospital to cease further transmission. Members of the same household will also be put into quarantine centers and CHP will also conduct contact tracing to identify people who had close contacts with the patient and decide whether they need treatment of quarantine. So, your risk remains low in this case.

In terms of public areas of the building, most of the estate management will conduct disinfection immediately. The biggest risk may come from being you were in the same lift with a COVID-19 patient as it is a small and confined space. So remember to wear a mask and do proper hand hygiene every time you take a lift to mitigate the risk.

2.      Neighbors under home quarantine

Everyone returning from overseas are now required to undergo compulsory home quarantine. Anyone who leaves the premise without permission violates the law and runs the danger of spreading the virus. The Government has zero tolerance to such behavior and few law breakers has been penalized.

If you encounter such situation, please report it to the CHP. As for contact with the people living with a person in compulsory home quarantine, as previously alluded to, the risk is small as long as you adhere to good personal hygiene.

3.      Family member under home quarantine

If you have a family member who is under compulsory home quarantine, it is suggested that you should inform your company immediately. The management should decide, judging from the job nature and other circumstances, whether the employee should work from home or return to office. It should consider both the risk of workplace infection and concerns of coworkers. In addition, everyone who decide to back to office as normal should take extra precautional measurements. You may refer to https://bit.ly/2XcRK4Q for more information.

I believe most of us have realized that we are now in an enduring war. To win this, we must work together, and not discriminate each other. As for the sick or quarantined, they must also exercise self-discipline to protect themselves and others.