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Quarantine period extended

12 April, 2020

Dear KAUST community, 

In order to reduce the risk to the community, KAUST implemented quarantine protocols relating to COVID-19 on January 28. Since then, the situation around the globe has escalated, and as a result, KAUST has continued to develop our response based on scientific and medical evidence to make sure that we continue to keep our community safe.

Recent evidence suggests that the incubation period for COVID-19 may be longer than previously thought, and evidence suggests that a quarantine period of longer than 14 days would be beneficial for risk mitigation. After analyzing our own confirmed cases here at KAUST, our own evidence suggests that a longer quarantine period is necessary to help manage the prevalence of asymptomatic cases.

KAUST has consistently taken a proactive approach to COVID-19, including travel restrictions and quarantine/testing criteria. As a result of the evolving situation, we have, as of midnight last night, moved to extend the quarantine period from a minimum of 14 days to a minimum of 21 days. As before, the KAUST Health clinical team will contact those in quarantine just before they are due to leave to make an assessment and advise accordingly. If there is a requirement to take an exit COVID-19 test, the individual will finish quarantine when the results of that test are confirmed as negative.

If you are already in quarantine, a member of the KAUST Health clinical team will contact you in the next 48 hours to discuss how this decision impacts you and your quarantine timeframe.

We appreciate that there will be frustration for those expecting to leave quarantine in the next few days, and we are very appreciative of your support at this time. This extension of quarantine will help us to limit any spread of COVID-19, continuing to minimize the risk to our community and to help us provide you with the best possible care in these difficult circumstances.


Regards, 
Chris Sealey
Vice President, Community Life