CDC redefines ‘close contact’ to include multiple brief encounters


Dr. Robert R. Redfield, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, speaks during a COVID-19 briefing at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention headquarter campus in Atlanta, Wednesday, October 21, 2020. (Alyssa Pointer /Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 7:06 AM PT – Thursday, October 22, 2020

The Center for Disease Control has redefined what counts as “close contact” with a COVID-19 patient. The CDC released the updated guidelines on Wednesday, noting people should quarantine if they have multiple close encounters with an infected person amounting to 15 minutes in one day.

The update came after a Vermont prison employee caught COVID-19 from inmates after having a number of brief encounters with them, which amounted to 17 minutes.

CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield said the change falls in line with new scientific data.

“There is some recent data that has been determined that individuals who had a series of shorter contacts, but over time added up to more than 15 minutes, became infected,” he explained. “And clarifying that new science, that new data into our contact recommendations, is what you’re alluding to.”

Officials went on to stress the importance of social distancing and wearing masks whenever possible.

Meanwhile, HHS Secretary Alex Azar said the U.S. is getting close to having a vaccine by the end of the year.

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