When at home, at the workplace, or out on the town, the CDC recommends keeping social distance measures in place. As deaths from COVID-19 keep rising, it’s more important than ever to take these measures. When a positive case is registered, oftentimes contact tracers will check for people who are defined as a “close contact” to understand how the virus may have spread, and how it may spread further.

So, what does the CDC define as a “close contact?”

A close contact is a person who, depending on the exposure, has been within six feet of the affected person for at least 15 minutes (cumulative) in a 24-hour period. Although wearing a face covering helps prevent the spread of COVID-19, many do not realize that you can still be defined as a close contact even if you wear the proper PPE. To maximize your personal safety, wear a face covering and avoid becoming a close contact.

If you have been defined as a close contact following a positive COVID-19 result, you may be instructed to take a COVID-19 test or self-quarantine.

To keep from being a close contact, one easy way is to keep six-foot visualizations in your mind. Here are some examples:

  • A standard dog leash measures about six feet long.
  • A twin-sized bed measures just over six feet long.
  • Six bowling pins laid end-to-end measure six feet long.
  • On average, an adult milk cow is about six feet long.

For more information about COVID-19 prevention measures, visit CDC.gov. To find out how CTEH can help implement contact tracing measures in your workplace, visit CTEH.com. (link: https://www.cteh.com/pandemic-response-subnav/planning-and-response)

Any scientific or medical information included in this article is current as of the date of publication; however, public health knowledge of COVID-19 is rapidly developing. Readers are advised to monitor national, state and local public health agencies for current recommendations regarding any infectious disease.