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Covid-19: monitoring the spread of new virus variants (supplement)

In connection with the emergence of new variants of interest of SARS-CoV-2: British (VOC 202012/01), South African (501Y.V2) and Brazilian (B.1.1.28) variants, the HCSP completes its recommendations concerning quarantine, personal protective equipment (PPE), reinforcement of barrier measures and contact tracing.

In health care settings, the HCSP recommends, in particular, to :

  • In case of discovery of a positive nasopharyngeal swab (RT-PCR) in an asymptomatic professional, provide for a 7-day eviction after the RT-PCR and the respect of reinforced barrier measures for the following 7 days. This rule should not be subject to any derogation and removes this possibility opened in its opinion of 23 May 2020.
  • Strictly respect the barrier measures, standard precautions and additional precautions already in place with the same procedures for the management of patients/residents, in particular the wearing of the various PPE and the conditions of isolation, whatever their status with regard to SARS-CoV-2 and the various variants.

In the general population, the HCSP recommends reinforcing prevention measures, known as barrier measures, due to the greater transmissibility of the variants of interest today, without the modes of transmission having changed for the moment:

  • By increasing the inter-individual distance, which was at least 1 metre until now, to 2 metres, and keeping the same conditions of application of this rule,
  • By recommending that masks with a high filtration performance be worn, such as reusable category 1 masks for the general public that comply with Afnor recommendations and single-use medical masks that comply with the EN 14683 standard (so-called surgical masks).

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