The CDC’s prior definition stated that “close contact” occurred when an individual was within 6 feet or less of an infected person for at least 15 continuous minutes.
Now, the CDC defines “close contact” as follows:
Someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to test specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.
Small incremental exposure periods are now added together over a 24-hour period to meet the cumulative 15-minute exposure benchmark for “close contact.” For example, an employee who has three 5-minute exposures to a COVID-19 positive co-worker within 24 hours now meets the cumulative 15-minute “close contact” definition.
Employers need to amend their COVID-19-related policies and exposure protocols to account for the CDC’s new “close contact” definition. This broader definition will likely increase the number of employees who are considered to have had “close contact” with an infected co-worker and will likely result in more employees being required to quarantine.
NOW, NEXT, & BEYOND: Barran Liebman’s E-Alert series covering the COVID-19 pandemic, helping employers identify what they need to do now, next, and beyond to stay in compliance, be responsive to employees, and best position their business for the future.
For questions regarding COVID-19 workplace exposure or the CDC’s expanded guidance, contact Amy Angel or Daniel Walker at 503-228-0500, or at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
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Las Alertas electrónicas son escritas por abogados de Barran Liebman para sus clientes y amigos. Las Alertas no son proveídas como asesoramiento legal, sino solo como anuncios de leyes de empleo, leyes laborales y beneficios de empleo. Si esto ha sido remetido a usted y quisieras empezar a recibir las Alertas directamente, por favor mándanos un correo electrónico o llama a Traci Ray al 503-276-2115. Derechos de autor ©2021 por Barran Liebman LLP.