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CDC Revises Definition of COVID-Related Close Contact

On October 21, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) revised its definition of “close contact” for the purposes of identifying individuals required to quarantine after exposure to someone who tests positive for COVID-19. 

The revised definition provides that being within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more, over a 24-hour period starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to test specimen collection). Previously, the 15 minutes was deemed a consecutive block of time and did not specifically accumulate over a 24-hour period.

Be advised that the new definition of close contact now potentially spans two work days, and wearing a facial covering does not change whether someone has been in close contact with another. Only the space and time of their interactions are considered, even when both wear facial coverings. There is also no distinction between being indoors and being outdoors for the purposes of this definition. 

In this video CPM Attorney, Alicia Nesline Shaw, outlines additional details about the definition change and answers commonly asked questions from business owners.


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