Swiss cut self-isolation, quarantine times as omicron rises

Jan 12, 2022, 10:43 AM | Updated: 11:05 am

GENEVA (AP) — Switzerland’s government is halving the self-isolation times required of people who test positive for the coronavirus and the quarantine times required of people they were in contact with, to five days.

The Federal Council, the seven-member executive branch of Swiss government, made the decision Wednesday and in a statement noted intensive-care admissions are lower in the pandemic since the emergence of the omicron variant worldwide over the last two months.

The decision to shorten the isolation and quarantine periods, from 10 days previously, results from shorter times between infection and transmission of omicron compared to earlier variants, the government said. The ability of Swiss regions to trace contacts has come under increased pressure as case counts, and thus people affected by isolation and quarantine, has risen sharply.

“The epidemiological situation is critical and remains difficult to assess: Hospital admissions and occupancy of intensive care units have fallen in recent weeks despite a surge in the number of cases,” the government said.

However, the council cautioned that while omicron is less dangerous for vaccinated and recovered people, a surge in hospitalizations in the country is still expected given a huge spike in case counts and an increase in positive tests among people admitted to hospital “even though they were not admitted due to COVID-19.”

That requires isolating more people, which makes care in hospital more complex, and threatens to sideline more staff members who test positive too, it said.

Bracing for possible staff shortages, the eastern Swiss region of Graubunden on Wednesday said it could order any trained nurses and some other health care specialists who are not currently practicing to go to work if hospitalizations surge. It cited a clause of Swiss law allowing for such a mandatory call-up in health emergencies. Trained personnel at higher risk of severe COVID — such as the elderly — would be exempt.

The federal council, meanwhile, said it too could “act swiftly” if necessary by closing businesses or institutions and capping attendance at public events, as it has done repeatedly in the past during the ebb and flow of the pandemic.

The country of about 8.5 million people reported more than 32,000 cases of COVID-19 over the last 24 hours, among the highest figures it has recorded during the pandemic. A total of 16 people died of COVID-related causes over the last day, raising the total death toll to 12,047.

__

Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

The Very Rev. Kris Stubna, rector of St. Paul Cathedral Parish, preaches on the topic of abortion a...
Associated Press

After Roe’s demise, clergy lead faithful in praise, laments

Praise and lament for the overturning of abortion rights filled sacred spaces this weekend as clergy across the U.S. rearranged worship plans or rewrote sermons to provide their religious context — and competing messages — about the historic moment. Abortion is a visceral issue for deeply divided religious Americans. Some are sad or angry in […]
16 hours ago
Associated Press

Poisonous bite leads German police to farm with 110 snakes

BERLIN (AP) — Police in Germany said Sunday they discovered more than 110 dangerous snakes on a farm after a woman who lived there sought medical treatment for a poisonous bite. The 35-year-old woman drove to a hospital in Salzgitter, near Hannover, early Sunday and told doctors there that one of her rattlesnakes bit her […]
16 hours ago
Associated Press

Average US gasoline price drops 4 cents to $5.05 per gallon

CAMARILLO, Calif. (AP) — The average U.S. price of regular-grade gasoline fell by 4 cents per gallon in the past two weeks to $5.05 for regular grade, it was reported Sunday. It was the first drop in nine weeks and came with a drop in oil prices amid deepening global inflation fears, industry analyst Trilby […]
16 hours ago
Associated Press

Newspaper: Oklahoma gun deaths rose as firearms access grew

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Gun deaths in Oklahoma have increased since a “permitless carry” law allowing people over the age of 21 to carry a gun without a permit or training went into effect in 2019, according to a newspaper’s review of data. The Oklahoman analyzed state medical examiner data and found that Oklahoma has […]
16 hours ago
FILE - Bosnian Serb member of the tripartite Presidency of Bosnia Milorad Dodik watches military ex...
Associated Press

Bosnian Serb leader prays for Trump’s return, praises Putin

SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) — The leader of Bosnia’s Serbs said Sunday he hoped former U.S. President Donald Trump would return to power and that the Serbs would “wait for appropriate global circumstances” to reach for their goal of seceding from Bosnia, which he called an “unsustainable state.” Milorad Dodik, who was a rare European official […]
16 hours ago
FILE - Wallace Reid purchases fuel for the vehicle he drives to make a living using ride-share apps...
Associated Press

Greedflation: Is price-gouging helping fuel high inflation?

Most economists say corporate price gouging is, at most, one of many causes of runaway inflation — and not the primary one.
16 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
CANVAS ANNUITY

Best retirement savings rates hit 4.30%

Maximize your retirement savings with guaranteed fixed rates up to 4.30%. Did you know there is a financial product that can give you great interest rates as you build your retirement savings and provide you with a paycheck for life once you retire? It might sound too good to be true but it is not; this product is called an annuity.
...
Christina O’Haver

BE FAST to spot a stroke

Every 40 seconds—that’s how often someone has a stroke in the United States. It’s the fifth leading cause of death among Americans, with someone dying of a stroke every 3.5 minutes.
...
Arizona Division of Problem Gambling

Arizona Division of Problem Gambling provides exclusion solution for young sports bettors

Sports betting in Arizona opened a new world to young adults, one where putting down money on games was as easy as sending a text message.
Swiss cut self-isolation, quarantine times as omicron rises