CDC changes definition of coronavirus ‘close contact’

25 Octobre, 2020, 05:05 | Auteur: Yves Courtet
  • CDC changes definition of coronavirus ‘close contact’

Almost 300,000 more people have died in the United States during this year's coronavirus pandemic than would be expected during a typical year, with at least two-thirds thought to be caused by COVID-19, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in a report released on Tuesday.

The findings could affect how people gather as the weather grows cooler. Now, the CDC recommends that those who are in contact with someone infected for 15 minutes over a 24-hour period should quarantine. That includes multiple, but brief, encounters, one or two minutes at a time. Those changes were expected to be updated Wednesday on the CDC's website.

The Centers for Disease Control has changed its definition of who is considered a "close contact" with someone who has coronvirus.

States like Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, and Wisconsin have recorded rises in Covid-19 case numbers in the last two weeks.

The CDC changed its definition of a close contact in response to an outbreak investigation at a prison in Vermont.

The 20-year-old correctional officer never spent 15 consecutive minutes within six feet of an infected person at the prison - which means he wasn't previously considered a close contact and therefore continued to work. The next day, all six inmates received positive test results.

The officer had brief contact with six incarcerated or detained people (IDP) who later all tested positive for the coronavirus.

CDC redefines COVID-19 close contact, adds brief encounters
Experts say this could lead to many more people being quarantined to stop the spread . Crystal Watson , another Johns Hopkins researcher, agrees.

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The officer continued working rather than going into quarantine.

A few days later, the correctional officer developed COVID-19 symptoms and subsequently tested positive.

In some countries, operations have been deferred and access to treatment for other illnesses has become more hard as hospitals have struggled to cope with the burden of treating those with COVID-19.

Health officials went back and reviewed surveillance video of those encounters.

Over an eight-hour shift, those brief encounters added up to about 17 minutes total. The correctional officer wore a cloth mask, gown and goggles during all interactions, and gloves for most interactions. "We're exhausted of wearing masks, but it continues to be as important as it has ever been and I would say even more important than ever as we move into the fall season".

"In an MMWR published today, CDC and Vermont health officials found that multiple, short and non-consecutive exposures to persons confirmed to have COVID-19 led to transmission", the CDC said in a statement.

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