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CDC changes ‘close contact’ guidelines

by | Oct 21, 2020 | Latest

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have changed the COVID-19 close contact guidelines after a corrections officer at a Vermont correctional facility tested positive.

The previous guidelines considered “close contact” an interaction within six feet of someone infected with COVID-19 lasting 15 consecutive minutes for longer.

The guidelines have now been changed to an interaction with an infected person within six feet totaling 15 minutes within the last 24 hours.

In a report published by the CDC on Wednesday, Oct. 21, the CDC stated the corrections officer tested positive after several, short interactions totaling 17 minutes with inmates who was later tested positive for COVID-19.

After the inmates tested positive, the facility conducted contact tracing to find any possible exposure, but the officer did not meet “close contact” guidelines and was allowed to return to work. Days later, the officer began experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and was tested, which came back positive.

Although the officer did not spend 15 consecutive minutes with an infected person, during the course of his eight-hour shift, he did have approximately 22 interactions within six feet lasting less than one minute.

The officer reported no other known exposures other than his exposure at work and did not travel outside of Vermont in the 14 days prior, according to the CDC.

From Staff Reports • [email protected]

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