On October 21, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) broadened the definition of “close contact” for purposes of COVID-19 contact tracing and quarantining requirements.
Since many state and local government COVID-19 orders rely on the CDC definition of “close contact” to determine who should stay home, monitor, and be tested, the expanded definition will have repercussions across the country. Businesses may need to re-train their employees so that they follow the correct contact tracing protocols, and additionally, businesses may need to re-write COVID-19 protocols and standard operating procedures to reflect the new definition.
Contacts Are Now Cumulative Over a 24-Hour Period
Originally, the CDC defined a “close contact” as a person who spent 15 consecutive minutes within six feet of an infected person starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to test speciment collection) until the time the patient is