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Update: CDC’s Refined Definition of Close Contact

Close contact is now defined as “within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period.” Good news is that this isn't a major change for most Zedic and Zero Hour Health clients!

On Wednesday, the CDC quietly updated its definition of close contact. The good news is that it’s not a major change for most of our clients.

For months, the CDC has defined close contact as “within 6 feet for 15 or more minutes” of an infected person.

Back in August, our contacts at the CDC started clarifying that this meant 15 cumulative minutes. So if someone had 5 mins here and 5 mins there, adding up to 15 or more minutes over the course of a shift, they would need to be excluded. Zedic and Zero Hour Health has been using the standard of 15 cumulative minutes for months when giving clients guidance and when conducting wellness checks.

The update that the CDC shared yesterday clarifies the time period we look at when we think about those cumulative minutes. Their new definition is “within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period.”

In most workplace settings, employees are only in contact during the course of one shift in a 24 hour period. Of course there are exceptions (double shifts, roommates, parties, etc.) and we encourage you to consider this clarification when you’re doing internal contact tracing after you have a confirmed positive case. 

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to chat in through the app to talk with a member of our clinical team.

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Disclaimer: This post is meant for general information and educational purposes only and does not constitute, and is not intended as, any form of medical, legal or regulatory advice or a recommendation or suggestion regarding the same.  No recipient of this information should act or refrain from acting on the basis of this information without first seeking legal advice from counsel in the relevant jurisdiction.