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CDC Redefines COVID-19 Close Contact, Adds Brief Encounters

On October 21, U.S. health officials redefined what counts as close contact with someone with COVID-19 to include briefer but repeated encounters.

For months, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said close contact meant spending a solid 15 minutes within 6 feet of someone who tested positive for coronavirus. On Wednesday, the CDC changed it to a total of 15 minutes or more — so shorter but repeated contacts that add up to 15 minutes over a 24-hour period now count.

The CDC advises anyone who has been in close contact with a COVID-19 patient to quarantine for two weeks.

The change may prompt health departments to do contact tracing in cases where an exposure might previously have been considered too brief, said Dr. William Schaffner, a Vanderbilt University infectious diseases expert.

It’s also serves notice that the coronavirus can spread more easily than many people realize, he added.

Excerpted from “CDC Redefines COVID-19 Close Contact, Adds Brief Encounters” from the Associated Press. Read the full release.

Additional information on COVID-19 is available on the CDC website. Also, be sure to check out the resources in the COVID-19 Information & Resource Center section of CHC’s free, online Community Resource Library.

Source: Associated Press | CDC Redefines COVID-19 Close Contact, Adds Brief Encounters, https://apnews.com/article/virus-outbreak-health-infectious-diseases-1fb2e2a5b3fc0dd61f5756277c2d9364 | copyright 2020 The Associated Press

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