August 14, 2022

CDC alters definition of COVID-19 ‘close contact’

Earlier, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) described a close contact as someone who spent 15 minutes or more within six feet of someone who was infectious.

The CDC updated its definition of a close contact in its published “guidance for coronavirus contact tracing” on Wednesday. Now, the agency says it’s someone who spent a total of 15 minutes or more within six feet of an infected person, meaning multiple encounters that add up to 15 minutes over a 24-hour period also count.

According to the report, other factors to consider in defining close contact are- proximity, the duration of exposure, whether the infected person has symptoms, whether the infected person was likely to generate respiratory aerosols and environmental factors such as adequacy of ventilation and crowding.