Discharge conditions set out for isolation patients

The government on Sunday set out its criteria to discharge Covid patients in isolation, as hospitals and other facilities struggle with rising case numbers from the Omicron outbreak. It said the aim was to give hospital priority to urgent cases and make proper use of community isolation facilities, while reducing transmission risk.

In a statement, the government said, as the Hospital Authority wanted to send higher risk cases to hospital as quickly as possible, patients with no or mild symptoms would, whenever possible, be sent to community isolation facilities.

It said the authority and the Department of Health had sought expert advice and opted for, what it described as, a risk-based strategy. This adjusts the length of a patient’s stay at an isolation facility, on the conditions at his or her home, should that patient be allowed to return.

If a patient lives alone and does not have any household members deemed high risk – such as being elderly, pregnant, or immunocompromised – then the patient can go home following a negative test on Day 7 and stay inside for a further seven days. If, on Day 14, there is a second negative test, then the patient is free to continue life as normal.

But if there is a positive test on Day 7, or household conditions are thought unsuitable, then the patient must remain at the isolation facility until the 14 days are up and a negative test has been obtained.