CDC Updates COVID-19 Definition of Close Contact

Published Wednesday, October 28, 2020 2:00 pm

The CDC recently updated the definition of “close contact” for purposes of potential COVID-19 exposure. The update defines close contact as:

"Someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic clients, 2 days prior to positive specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated."

Previously, the standard was if an individual was within 6 feet of someone that tested positive for COVID-19 for at least 15 consecutive minutes.

This new definition expands the number of employees in the workplace that may now need to be tested and/or isolated if another employee tests or any other individual they’ve come into recent contact with tests positive for COVID-19. Employers are advised to update their illness reporting, isolation and employee notification policies and procedures to reflect this change. Be sure to communicate your updated policies and procedures with your employees as well.

Cascade will continue to monitor this and we will keep you updated should any additional guidance be released. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions!

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