Immediately the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC) simply up to date and expanded its definition of who a “shut contact” of somebody with COVID-19 is.
Beforehand, the CDC outlined a detailed contact as somebody who had spent 15 minutes inside six ft of another person who had a confirmed case of COVID-19. Now the CDC has expanded that definition and says a detailed contact is “somebody who was inside six ft of an contaminated particular person for a cumulative whole of 15 minutes or extra over a 24-hour interval” ranging from two days earlier than the particular person skilled COVID-19 signs or two days earlier than they offered a pattern for testing. That features particular person exposures that add as much as 15 minutes inside 24 hours, corresponding to three five-minute exposures over someday.
However time is not the one essential issue to remember when assessing shut contact, the CDC says. It is also essential to contemplate whether or not or not the contaminated particular person had noticeable signs on the time of the publicity, whether or not or not the contaminated particular person was prone to be expelling respiratory aerosols containing the virus (when coughing or singing, for example), and different environmental elements that might make an infection roughly doubtless, corresponding to air flow and crowds.
The definition of a detailed contact is essential when individuals are evaluating the COVID-19 dangers related to a selected exercise. And it is particularly essential for contact tracing, which includes getting in contact with the shut contacts of those that take a look at optimistic for COVID-19 to allow them to know they could have to quarantine and be examined.
The up to date definition got here simply because the CDC published a new study exhibiting the likelihood for an infection after a number of short-term exposures to somebody with COVID-19. Within the examine, a 20-year-old correctional facility worker developed COVID-19 after 22 temporary exposures inside six ft of 1 incarcerated particular person totaling 17 minutes over a single eight-hour shift.
It is a reminder that, despite the fact that we could also be practically eight months into the pandemic within the U.S., we’re nonetheless studying in regards to the coronavirus and the way COVID-19 spreads.