Tuesday, 29 September 2020

Ceisteanna (945)

David Cullinane

Ceist:

945. Deputy David Cullinane asked the Minister for Health the guidelines for persons when a member of their household displays symptoms of Covid-19; if they should self-isolate until a negative test is returned; if his attention has been drawn to HSE guidance being issued to persons that says a member of a household is not required to isolate while their household member with symptoms is waiting for a test; his views on whether this is not the appropriate guidance; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27118/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The Deputy may wish to note that the public health advice relating to Covid-19 is kept under continuing review by the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET), by the Department of Health and by the Government. The measures in place and the public health advice have been adapted to the changing circumstances and this will continue to be the case for the foreseeable future.

If a person has any common symptoms of COVID-19, they should self-isolate and phone their GP immediately to get a COVID-19 test.

Common symptoms of COVID-19 include:

- a fever (high temperature - 38 degrees Celsius or above)

- a cough - this can be any kind of cough, not just dry

- shortness of breath or breathing difficulties

- loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

It can take up to 14 days for symptoms to show, and the symptoms can be similar to symptoms of cold and flu.

The latest public health advice is available at the following links and is updated on a regular basis:

https://www.gov.ie/en/organisation/department-of-health/

https://www2.hse.ie/coronavirus/

With particular reference to the question that the Deputy has raised with regard to guidance for someone who is living with a person displaying the symptoms of Covid-19, I would draw his attention to the following, which sets out that such a person should restrict their movements until the outcome of a test for Covid-19 has been received:

https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/managing-coronavirus-at-home/if-you-live-with-someone-who-has-coronavirus.html

As the Deputy will note, there is a difference between advice to "self-isolate", where people are required to stay indoors and avoid contact with others completely, including those from the same household, and "restricted movement", which involves avoiding contact with other people and social situations as much as possible.