Photo by Pavel Metluk

According to The Hill, The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) broadened their definition of “close contact” with someone infected with COVID-19. The definition now explains the virus can be transmitted through multiple encounters.

Previously, the CDC defined close contact by staying six feet away from someone infected by the virus for at least 15 minutes and regulating who should quarantine. 

The new term is now being flagged as being in close contact with someone for a minimum of 15 minutes over a 24-hour time span while remaining six feet apart. Thus, making it transparent that several separate encounters tallying up to the 15-minute mark count.

The modification of the term came shortly after the CDC and Vermont health authorities published a report of a 20-year-old Vermont correctional officer, who was diagnosed in August, had several “multiple encounters” with inmates (who later tested positive), while not wearing masks in recreational rooms or cell doorways. 

Contract tracing investigations have now begun, leading the new definition to an increase in those who are identified as being a “close contact.” 

A CDC spokesperson said that wearing a mask is one of the most effective ways to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

The CDC says close contact can include kissing, hugging, sharing beverages and food or utensils with someone who is infected.

Written ByEddie Huijon

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