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Linn County public health officials update definition of COVID-19 close contact – kwwl.com


Nov 12, 2020

LINN COUNTY, Iowa (KWWL) — The Linn County Public Health Department is updating its ‘close contact’ definition as cases in the county continue to climb.

Effective today, the department is using the CDC’s close contact recommendations for COVID-19.

A close contact is defined as:

  • Being within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes or more in a 24-hour period, starting from 2 days before illness onset or testing.
  • Living in the same household as a person diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • Direct physical contact with the person (hugging or kissing them).
  • Being sneezed or coughed on, or somehow getting respiratory droplets on you from a COVID-19 infected individual.

A close contact includes all of the above, regardless of mask use.

Close contacts will be expected to quarantine for 14 days after the last exposure. According to the department, quarantine is used to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others.

If a close contact develops symptoms of COVID-19 or tests positive for COVID-19, they should isolate. People in isolation should stay home until it is safe to be around others again.

If you’re at home and you’re sick or infected, separate yourself from others by staying in a specific ‘sick room’ or area. You should also try to use a separate bathroom until ALL of the following criteria is met:

  • No fever for at least 24 hours without the use of medicine that reduces fevers.
  • Symptoms have improved (e.g., cough or shortness of breath have improved).
  • At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.

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