TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan on Monday (March 20) ended reporting and quarantine requirements for mild COVID cases.
Effective Monday, mild COVID cases are exempt from quarantine and reporting requirements and will instead follow a "0+n" formula for their self-health monitoring period. Under the "0+n" scheme, people with mild symptoms are to avoid unnecessary trips outside and engage in up to 10 days of self-health monitoring.
During the 10 days of self-health monitoring, people can go out if they have no symptoms or their symptoms improve, but they must wear a mask at all times when outside. They can end their 10 days of self-health monitoring if they receive a negative result on a rapid antigen test.
However, people who suffer moderate to severe COVID symptoms are required to report their illness and immediately seek medical treatment. Severe symptoms or warning signs include "shortness of breath or trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, confusion, blue-colored skin/lips or nail beds, inability to eat, drink or take medications, no or a significant reduction in urine within 24 hours, systolic blood pressure below 90mmHg, and over 100 heartbeats per minute when not running a fever," according to the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC).
CECC spokesperson Phillip Lo (羅一鈞) explained that soldiers, civil servants, educators, students, and laborers who test positive for COVID but have mild symptoms will be allowed to take up to six days of sick leave without any negative impact on their work or attendance record. However, people who have moderate to severe COVID symptoms should undergo isolation and treatment.
Soldiers will be allowed to take sick leave without incurring disciplinary measures. In addition, civil servants and teachers will be able to take sick leave on "Day 0" of testing positive and up to five more days without an impact on their annual number of sick days or performance appraisal.
Students can also take sick leave on "Day 0" plus five more days, and it will not be included in their absence records. Furthermore, parents can take leave to care for children who are of school age.
Lastly, laborers can take sick leave starting on Day 0 plus five more days, and it will not impact their bonus for full attendance.
The Ministry of Education (MOE) said teachers and students who test positive but are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms are advised to undergo self-health monitoring. The MOE also suggested that COVID-positive individuals should stay at home from Day 0 and up to an additional five days, unless testing negative earlier.
New guidance for mild cases and moderate to severe cases. (CECC image)
New guidelines for mild COVID cases and moderate to severe cases. (Ministry of Foreign Affairs image)