DeKalb, IL — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has redefined the meaning of “close contact” in relation to a person with COVID-19.
Close contact is now considered as someone who was within six feet of an infected person for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period.
The change to the definition was prompted by a new study released Wednesday on how an officer in Vermont contracted COVID-19 during “brief encounters” with six incarcerated people who were infected.
The study showed that the officer only came within six feet of the inmates for short periods of time, but when the exposure was counted up, it totaled to over 15 minutes. The CDC said the findings proved the importance of wearing a mask.
Old language from the CDC defined close contact as someone who spent at least 15 minutes within six feet of a person with a confirmed case. The agency advises those who have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive to quarantine and get tested for the virus.