Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) minimally changed the definition of “close contact” with a person having COVID-19 in terms of time and spacing.
For months, the agency said close contact meant spending 15 minutes within 6 feet of someone who tested positive for coronavirus. On Wednesday, the CDC changed this definition to a total of 15 minutes or more — a shorter period but one that can be increased with repeated interactions that add up to 15 minutes over a 24-hour period now count.
Again, this really does not change the exposure metrics, although it may increase a few individuals who have been defined as having an exposure.
CDC officials said this recommendation highlights again the importance of wearing masks to prevent transmission, and that the agency’s guidance can change as new information comes in.
“As we get more data and understand this COVID we’re going to continue to incorporate that in our recommendations,” CDC Director Robert Redfield said at a press conference in Atlanta.
The CDC also says close contact can include hugging and kissing, sharing eating or drinking utensils with someone infected, and providing home care to someone who is sick. Someone sneezing or coughing on you also counts.
This triggered a massive press release barrage, but again it does not change much at all.