As Covid-19 cases increase islandwide and more of us are called to self-test and ensure our own safety, what should we do if we have a positive Covid-19 ART test?
Notify your employer, DO NOT go to work
Firstly, DO NOT go to work. Notify your employer of the positive test result. MOM has recently announced that those with positive Covid-19 ART test results are entitled to paid sick leave. This means that it is not ok for employers to force employees who have a positive ART test to work, these employees must stay at home to rest and recover. In addition, employers also cannot coerce employees to take their own Annual Leave or No Pay Leave to cover for this period.
There is no need to take a confirmatory PCR test UNLESS you belong to the following group:
- Those working in healthcare and eldercare settings
- Those working or studying in pre-schools or primary schools
- People under quarantine order, stay-home notice or who have received a health risk warning
- Individuals who are above 80 years old and vaccinated, or aged above 70 and unvaccinated
A confirmatory PCR test may also be necessary if symptoms arise.
Self-isolate and recover at home (if possible)
Secondly, self-isolate at home for 10 days if you fulfill the criteria for home recovery. This is the default for fully vaccinated persons, who are:
- Aged 12 – 69 years old
- Have mild or no symptoms
- Have no severe illness or co-morbidities
- No household member over 80 years old or deemed vulnerable e.g. pregnant, weak immune response
- Able to self-isolate in a room, preferably with an attached bathroom
Discharge yourself from Home Recovery after 10 days
Lastly, if you are feeling well 10 days after self-isolating, you may be discharged on Day 10. You may also return to the workplace 72 hours (3 days) after getting a negative ART result. There is no need for further PCR tests as vaccinated individuals are very unlikely to be infectious by this time.
What some employees are saying
- Some employees may stay silent and not report
- Employers or supervisors will coerce employees to make false declarations
- Employers will request employee to not work but make him/her take annual leave or no pay leave
Such situations are real and may be happening on the ground right now. What should employees do if they meet with such cases?
- Speak to your union if your employer is insisting that you work despite a positive ART test or denying you paid leave. The union leader can step in and negotiate with the company on your behalf. This is likely to lead to a better outcome for employees who wish not to escalate the matter to MOM.
- Report the incident to MOM and let them investigate.
Keep calm during the Stabilisation Phase
The purpose of the Stabilisation Phase is to support our healthcare workers and give them a breather. It also buys us a bit more time to ramp up preparations and ensure that there will enough ICU beds in case of emergency. It also reinforces efforts put in by everyone thus far to improve the Covid-19 situation. Let’s keep calm, stay united and help Singapore beat Covid-19!