Exemption from COVID-19 Contact Isolation for fully vaccinated health and social care staff in exceptional circumstances

Click through the sections below to find out more and view the risk assessment.

In exceptional circumstances, some fully vaccinated health and social care staff may be able to be exempted from isolation following potential contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19: COVID-19: management of staff and exposed patients and residents in health and social care settings - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

The local risk assessment framework should be used to help managers and staff members consider the risks of COVID-19 transmission compared to the risk to delivery of critical services due to staff absence.

  • This risk assessment framework should be used on a case by case basis for contacts identified through NHS Test and Trace and other formal contact tracing routes
  • It should be used when staff identified as a contact are planning on returning to a social care setting where they will be working with people that are clinically vulnerable. This includes those that are:
    • clinically extremely vulnerable, defined here: clinically extremely vulnerable definition

                    and/or

  • highly clinically vulnerable due to having conditions including dementia, behavioural issues, or who are not yet fully vaccinated (assessed by the individual organisation).
  • The exceptionality of the situation needs to be recorded
  • Where possible, staff should be redeployed for 10 days following contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 to parts of the home or service where contact with clinically vulnerable people can be minimised
  • All infection, prevention and control (IPC) measures must remain in place
  • Careful consideration needs to be given to any concerns that other professional colleagues, other members of staff, clients and family members may have regarding a member of staff being exempted from self-isolation
  • Careful consideration should be given to the risk of onward transmission compared to the risk of delivery of critical services. The decision-making process should be documented clearly
  • There needs to be a record of the potential harm that may occur if the member of staff cannot attend the workplace
  • There needs to be a record that an assessment of the likelihood of infection from the contact has been assessed (e.g. vaccination status, nature of exposure)
  • There needs to be a record of what mitigations will be in place to prevent onward infection if the person was to become a case (for example, testing, PPE use).
  • There needs to be a record that mitigations have been put in place to protect the most vulnerable (including residents and staff) from a potentially harmful exposure
Page updated: 26/07/2021 Page updated by: GCC

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