CDC changes guidance on close contacts following new COVID-19 information

Eat This Not That

Previously, the CDC defined a close contact as 15 minutes of continuous exposure to an infected individual.

Health departments rely on the CDC's guidance to conduct contact tracing.

America has seen almost 300,000 more deaths during its coronavirus epidemic than would have been expected in a typical year, with about 66% of those deaths attributed directly to the novel virus, according to a CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report released Tuesday. Those interactions came over an 8-hour shift.

Inmates wore cloth masks when interacting with the prison employee outside a cell, but there were several encounters when inmates did not wear face coverings, the report said. "When more people wear masks, more people are protected".

"We have known that there has been an undercount, that there have been more people who have gotten sick and died from this disease", Jha said.

"Close contacts will no longer be contacted by public health officials; instead, positive individuals will be instructed to self-notify their close contacts and direct them to the NDDoH website, where landing pages will be created. explaining the recommended and required actions for both positive patients and close contacts".

Dr. Jay Butler, the CDC Deputy Director for Infectious Diseases, spoke Wednesday at a rare on-camera media briefing at the agency's headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, alongside Dr. Robert Redfield, the CDC's director, and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar.

Although the correctional officer never spent 15 consecutive minutes within 6 feet of an IDP [incarcerated or detained persons] with COVID-19, numerous brief (approximately 1-minute) encounters that cumulatively exceeded 15 minutes did occur. "And clarifying that new science, that new data into our contact recommendations, is what you're alluding to".

"As many as half of all people who have COVID-19 don't show symptoms, so it's critical to wear a mask because you could be carrying the virus and not know it", the CDC said.

In its updated guidelines, it now defines close contact as someone who was within six feet of an infected individual for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period, as reported by The Washington Post.

"The percentage of COVID-19 patients who died while hospitalized (21.0%) was more than five times that of influenza [flu] patients (3.8%), and the duration of hospitalization was nearly three times longer for COVID-19 patients", the authors wrote.

And it's clear what people should do, the CDC says.

Dr. Butler said Covid-19 cases are now growing "really in all parts of the country", with particularly high transmission in the Midwest.