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May 2021 2nd edition

How do I know I have recovered from COVID-19?

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases says guidelines should be followed by an individual who tested positive for COVID-19 before they come out of isolation. 

Symptomatic patients who test positive for the virus, but only have mild symptoms, can come out of isolation 10 days after their symptoms started if they don't have a fever and their symptoms have improved.

Hospitalised patients with moderate-severe

disease can come out of isolation 10 days after they start showing improvement. This is when patients no longer need supplemental oxygen.

Asymptomatic patients are people who have tested positive for COVID-19 but do not show any symptoms. These individuals come out of isolation 10 days after their test.

Repeat testing for COVID-19 is not required to de-isolate and is not recommended.

It is common for patients to continue to have symptoms for longer than 10 days. Full recovery may take several weeks for some patients, especially for symptoms such as fatigue, cough and anosmia (loss of sense of smell).

Patients admitted to hospital can continue their isolation period at home or at an isolation facility once clinical stability has been achieved.

When can employees return to work after testing positive for COVID-19?

  • 10 days after they started showing symptoms.
  • 10 days after clinical stability or when a patient no longer needs oxygen support in cases of severe disease.
  • Testing for COVID-19 is not required for the return to work (exception: if a person remains asymptomatic in quarantine after a high-risk exposure to a confirmed COVID-19 case. A test should be done when assessing the employee for early return to work on day 8 post-exposure.

This information was supplied by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases. https://www.nicd.ac.za