The current evidence suggests the infectious period may begin approximately 2 days before symptoms appear. People are most infectious during the symptomatic period, even if symptoms are mild or non-specific (hence the recommendation to pre-screen before visiting the clinic).
If someone who visited the clinic subsequently experiences symptoms within 2 days of their visit, or if you have worked with a member of staff/ therapist who develops symptoms, we advise the following:
For anyone that has been in direct contact with the patient/ member of staff: i.e. within two metres for 15 minutes or more, or within one metre for any amount of time:
If you are wearing PPE in line with your current governing body guidance, then you do not have to self-isolate.
If you subsequently experience symptoms of COVID-19 we recommend you seek testing:
- If you test negative, you may return to work.
- If you test positive, you will need to self-isolate and then follow government guidance on the return to work.
For anyone that has had indirect contact with the client during their visit to the clinic or with the member of staff showing symptoms:
This can include other practitioners, reception staff, or other clients in the clinic at that time. They will be advised of the situation so that they can monitor for symptoms. They do not need to self-isolate.
For clinic staff who subsequently experience symptoms, they should self-isolate as per government guidance and seek testing. If tested, the result of their test will determine if they need to self-isolate or if they can return to work, as per the guidance on return to work.
For clients that have been seen by the treating practitioner during the period between seeing the suspected case and it being reported to the clinic:
If the practitioner who has been in direct contact has been wearing PPE in line with your governing body guidance, there is no requirement to inform clients that have been seen by the treating practitioner in the 2 days since seeing the initial client. However, as a courtesy you may wish to inform clients that you have seen someone who has subsequently experienced symptoms – even if the risk of infection is very small – as the vulnerability of the client and their close relatives may be an important factor for the client to consider.
This guidance may be subject to change in accordance with updated government guidelines.
Date of issue: 12th June 2020.