Revised COVID-19 Guidelines for Case Investigation and Contact Tracing
By: Alicia Lamboy, Esq.
Angel Berberena, Esq.
May 23, 2022
On May 20, 2022, the Department of Health of Puerto Rico (DOH) released a revised version of its COVID-19 Guidelines for Case Investigation and Contact Tracing. The Guidelines create specific procedures for the DOH to follow for contact tracing and update current isolation and quarantine requirements.
The most relevant changes are related to isolation requirements for positive cases and quarantine requirements for people in close contact with positive cases. Please note that the DOH has yet to update its Protocol for the Management of COVID-19 Cases in the Workplace to adopt similar guidelines to those applicable to the public.
- Persons with up-to-date vaccinations that tested positive for COVID-19:
- If the person has no symptoms, observe a 5-day of isolation period.
- If the person has light to moderate symptoms, observe a 7-day isolation period.
After completing the isolation period, the person must continue to use face mask until the 10th day after the first positive test.
- Persons without up-to-date vaccinations that tested positive for COVID-19:
- Persons without or with light to moderate symptoms must observe a 10-day isolation period.
- Persons without up-to-date vaccinations in close contact with a positive case:
- Persons with up-to-date vaccinations in close contact with a positive case:
- Not required to quarantine after close contact with positive case. The person must take a viral test for COVID-19 five days after the contact and continue monitoring symptoms for ten days after the last exposure.
- Population exempted from quarantine regardless of vaccination status
- Healthcare professionals (e.g., working at hospitals, laboratories, pharmacies, pharmaceutical industry, medical offices, or clinical settings).
- Long-term care providers (e.g., working at elderly housing).
- Security personnel (e.g., policemen, firefighters, soldiers, among others).
- Persons in the following industries: food distribution chain, banking, hostels, lodging services and manufacturing.
- Persons who have received the booster dose 2 weeks prior to the contact.
- Persons with positive test results within the last ninety days before the exposure to the close contact.
As always, all employers are encouraged to promote full vaccination among their workforce, including booster doses recommended by the DOH or the Centers for Disease Control.