On Wednesday, October 21st the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) held a press conference announcing an updated definition of what constitutes “close contact” relating to the coronavirus. Under the previous definition, the CDC held that a close contact was defined as anyone who had at least 15 consecutive minutes of contact within six feet of a confirmed coronavirus case.
The CDC changed the definition to include anyone who had a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more contact within six feet of a confirmed coronavirus case within a 24-hour period. This change will likely have an impact on schools and workplaces where prolonged exposure is more likely. As a result, staffing shortages may occur in greater numbers once contract tracing has been completed. If a close contact has been established, the employee should be immediately sent home and maintain social distancing and self-monitoring for symptoms. The CDC recommends 14 days of quarantine in the event of a close contact as measured from the date of contact.
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