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3/30/2020 - Frequently Asked Questions Close Contacts of Confirmed COVID-19 Patients (UPDATED March 29, 2020)

Frequently Asked Questions Close Contacts of Confirmed COVID-19 Patients (UPDATED March 29, 2020)

What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by a new virus called SARS-CoV-2. COVID-19 can cause symptoms ranging from mild illness, like common cold symptoms, to more serious illness like pneumonia (lung infection).


I’ve been told I’m a “close-contact” to someone with confirmed COVID-19. What does that mean?
If you are identified as a close contact to someone with COVID-19, you may have been told this by your healthcare provider, your employer, your local health department or the person themselves. In general, close contact means being within 6 feet of a person for longer than 10 minutes. It is currently thought that close contacts of people who have COVID-19 are at higher risk of getting the virus than the general public. Some examples of close contact include:

• Living in the same household and sharing common spaces (bathrooms, kitchen, living spaces, etc.) with a sick person with COVID-19
• Caring for a sick person with COVID-19
• Being in direct contact with secretions from a sick person with COVID-19 which could include being coughed on, kissing, sharing utensils, etc.

If you have not been a close contact to someone with COVID-19 then you are likely to be at lower risk for infection. However, you should continue to monitor your health for symptoms. If you feel feverish or develop cough or difficulty breathing, you should limit contact with others and seek advice by telephone from a healthcare provider to determine whether medical evaluation is needed.

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