U.S. health officials Wednesday redefined what counts as close contact with someone with COVID-19 to include briefer but repeated encounters.
For months, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said close contact meant spending a solid 15 minutes within 6 feet of someone who tested positive for coronavirus. On Wednesday, the CDC changed it to a total of 15 minutes or more — so shorter but repeated contacts that add up to 15 minutes over a 24-hour period now count.
The CDC advises anyone who has been in close contact with a COVID-19 patient to quarantine for two weeks.
“There is some recent data that has been determined that individuals who had a series of shorter contacts, but over time added up to more than 15 minutes, became infected and clarifying that new science, that new data into our contact recommendations is what you’re alluding to. And again it’s based on data that one didn’t have four months ago,” said CDC director Dr. Robert Redfield.
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