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CDC revises 'close contact' definition

Published Oct 26, 2020


CAPE TOWN - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recently revised what the organisation considered as 'close contact' with someone infected with Covid-19 following their report on Covid-19 cases within a correctional facility in Vermont, USA.

As the world continues to fight off the Covid-19 pandemic, with infection rates still increasing in certain countries, many public areas require information on visitors for the safety and containment of Covid-19 in order to access certain facilities with questions needing to be answered such as if you are feeling any symptoms or have been in contact with someone infected with Covid-19.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recently revised what they consider close contact, previously stating close contact with someone infected with Covid-19 meant being within six feet(1.8 metres) distance of an infected person for 15 consecutive minutes, but now, close contact is only considered if someone was within the six feet of an infected person for 15 minutes over the course of a 24 hour time period starting two days before the onset of illness.

According to the organisation, this means that if you have been within this distance from an infected person at various moments within a full day that equates to a 15 minute total, only then you are considered to have been in close contact.

In public areas such as restaurants, national parks and medical centres provide a form with a list of questions for visitors to gain entry which is used to determine risk or chance of Covid-19 transmission or, in the case of an outbreak, could be used to contact trace or determine if quarantine is necessary.

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Although the CDC revised what the organisation regards as 'close contact', there have been numerous Covid-19 cases especially with the second wave of infections taking place in certain countries in the world, facing what is now dubbed as 'superspreader events' that proves it is still important to consider the various factors that contribute to the transmission of Covid-19.

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