CDC changes guidance on close contacts following new COVID-19 information

Even short contacts with infected are enough to catch Covid-19

In other words, if you were standing close to someone who had COVID-19 for at least 15 minutes there was a good chance you could become infected too.

However, now the CDC says that 15-minute time frame doesn't need to be consecutive. The Vermont report was published in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly on October 21, 2020.

The CDC has now expanded the definition of close contact to be "Someone who was 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) until the time the patient is isolated".

The investigation team reviewed video surveillance footage to determine that the correctional officer did not meet the then-definition of a close contact.

In total, the employee spent 17 minutes interacting with prisoners, but previous guidelines would have placed him in the clear due to the encounters themselves being much shorter.

Even short contacts with infected are enough to catch Covid-19
Nearly 300000 more Americans have died this year than usual, CDC says

Health Commissioner Mark Levine, MD said he is pleased the CDC is taking this data into account, to increase understanding about the importance of maintaining physical distance. "I'm really proud of their work".

The majority of the United States continues to report an upward trend in new COVID-19 cases, deaths and hospitalizations amid the recent resurgence of the pandemic across the country.

"Vermont is already doing this to a certain degree, but all public health officials can consider this research when doing contact tracing and interviews", Dr. Kwit said. You're probably at higher risk if the person had active symptoms at the time, for example, or if they were up in your face rather than five feet away, or if they were shouting or singing. As many as half of all individuals who have COVID-19 do not present signs, so it is important to put on a masks since you may very well be carrying the virus and never realize it", the CDC stated "Whereas a masks offers some restricted safety to the wearer, every extra one that wears a masks will increase the person safety for everybody.

One model by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation estimates that the US could see more than 394,000 deaths by February 1-but if mask wearing becomes universal, 79,000 lives could be saved.


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