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CDC, COVID Trace update guidance identifying ‘close contact’ 

by Nevada State News
COVID-19 drive thru testing in Washoe County Nevada.

CARSON CITY – New research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has yielded a new definition of “close contact” when it comes to COVID-19. The updated guidance defines close contact as being within 6 feet of an infected person for a total of 15 minutes or longer over a 24-hour period. 

That guidance expands the definition of close contact, which was previously 15 consecutive minutes and within 6 feet, and demonstrates that multiple brief interactions over time can increase risk.

Nevada’s contact tracers and disease investigators are using this new guideline in their work to track and slow the spread of COVID-19 across the state. Nevada’s COVID Trace app has also been updated with the new guidance.

COVID Trace, a free mobile app, doesn’t collect personal information but exchanges anonymous Bluetooth ‘tokens” with other devices within the exposure criteria. It helps individuals with the app determine if they’ve encountered a person who’s tested positive for the virus.

If a person is identified as a close contact they must self-quarantine for 14 days from their last exposure to the positive person. It is recommended that all contacts are tested for COVID-19, however a negative test result does not negate the 14-day quarantine period.   

Nevada’s public health officials stress, however, that all Nevadans must continue to be mindful and maintain social distance, good hand hygiene and wear a mask when outside their homes 

Information on Nevada’s COVID Trace app can be found at https://nvhealthresponse.nv.gov/covidtrace/  

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