A scorecard designed to help scuba divers exposed to or infected by the Covid-19 virus calculate whether it is safe for them to resume diving has been produced by the UK Diving Medical Committee.
Divers who have experienced lung or heart changes resulting from the virus could risk barotrauma or other respiratory difficulties by diving, as reported on Divernet in April and May. They also need to take coronavirus into account when completing the latest diver medical self-assessment forms.
The UKDMC, a network of 56 medical referees with accredited diving medicine expertise, advises the British Sub-Aqua Club, Sub-Aqua Association and Scottish Sub-Aqua Club on diving-medicine issues.
Its scorecard allocates points for each of eight elements of a diver’s medical history in 2020, with the score cross-checked with a table to determine the current advice.
Negative indicators include new persistent cough, fever, increased shortness of breath, loss of taste or smell, known unprotected contact with a proven or suspected Covid-19 sufferer, a positive antibody test or throat swab, and symptoms severe enough to require hospital admission.
For any score between 1 and 7, it is suggested that taking a government-approved Covid-19 antibody test (currently those produced by Abbott and by Roche) should be considered, because a negative test might give the all-clear.