Beyond Vision

Close Contact

Beyond Vision Team,

Positive COVID test results continue to increase throughout the world.  And for those of us living in the Midwest, we are getting hit pretty hard.  Social distancing still remains one of the most effective tools we have to reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19.  We all know about keeping a six foot distance from each other.  Below is information from CDC about their definition of “close contact.”  It includes proximity from another person.  But it also includes the amount of time you have been within six feet of another person.  This is regardless of whether masks are worn or not.

Continue to practice good social distancing.  If you have to break the six foot space, keep it at a minimum of a few minutes.  This along with the other tactics we have in place will help minimize risk.

Let’s all be mindful and cautious.


Close Contact

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.

* Individual exposures added together over a 24-hour period (e.g., three 5-minute exposures for a total of 15 minutes). Data are limited, making it difficult to precisely define “close contact;” however, 15 cumulative minutes of exposure at a distance of 6 feet or less can be used as an operational definition for contact investigation. Factors to consider when defining close contact include proximity (closer distance likely increases exposure risk), the duration of exposure (longer exposure time likely increases exposure risk), whether the infected individual has symptoms (the period around onset of symptoms is associated with the highest levels of viral shedding), if the infected person was likely to generate respiratory aerosols (e.g., was coughing, singing, shouting), and other environmental factors (crowding, adequacy of ventilation, whether exposure was indoors or outdoors). Because the general public has not received training on proper selection and use of respiratory PPE, such as an N95, the determination of close contact should generally be made irrespective of whether the contact was wearing respiratory PPE.  At this time, differential determination of close contact for those using fabric face coverings is not recommended.


Also, for COVID-19, a close contact is anyone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a total of 15 minutes or more. An infected person can spread COVID-19 starting 48 hours (or 2 days) before the person has any symptoms or tests positive for COVID-19.

Frequently Asked Question: Am I considered a close contact if I was wearing a mask?

Yes, you are still considered a close contact even if you were wearing a mask while you were around someone with COVID-19. Masks are meant to protect other people in case you are infected, and not to protect you from becoming infected.