Close Contacts

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What defines a close contact?

Close contacts are defined as individuals who have been within 6 feet of a COVID-19 positive individual while indoors, for at least 15 minutes during a 24-hour period.3 4 Please note that the at-risk exposure time begins 48 hours prior to symptom onset (or time of positive test if asymptomatic) and continues until the time the COVID-19 positive individual is isolated.
Note: To be a close contact, the 15 minutes must occur within a 24-hour period. Multiple brief or transitory interactions (less than a minute) throughout the day are unlikely to result in 15 minutes of cumulative contact and do not meet the definition of close contact. 

The following close contacts are exempt from testing and quarantine response protocols: 
  • Asymptomatic, fully vaccinated close contacts: Individuals who are asymptomatic and fully vaccinated are exempt from testing and quarantine response protocols. 
  • Winchester School District Classroom close contacts: An individual who is exposed to a COVID-19 positive individual in the classroom while both individuals were masked, so long as the individuals were spaced at least 3 feet apart, is exempt from testing and quarantine response protocols.
  • Winchester School District Bus close contacts: Individuals on buses must be masked according to federal requirements. As such, individuals who are masked on buses when windows are open are exempt from testing and quarantine response protocols.
  • Close contacts who have had COVID-19 within the past 90 days: An individual who has been previously diagnosed with COVID-19 and then becomes a close contact of someone with COVID-19 is exempt from testing and quarantine response protocols if: 
    • The exposure occurred within 90 days of the onset of their own illness AND 
    • The exposed individual is recovered and remains without COVID-19 symptoms. 

How do I know if I am a close contact?


You will receive a communication from the Winchester Health Department or the Contact Tracing Collaborative if they confirm that you meet the definition of a close contact (see above).  They will reach out to you as quickly as possible, but they need to get information about the positive case first.  If you know you have been exposed to someone infectious with COVID-19, please take the appropriate precautions and stay home while you wait for confirmation from the Health Department and guidance on next steps.  If you are concerned or you have questions, contact: healthdept@winchester.us 


I was identified as a close contact to someone positive with COVID-19.  I am quarantining but do other people in my household need to quarantine?


No. Only close contacts are required to be quarantined (not contacts of close contacts).  However, if you become symptomatic, the Health Department recommends your household members remain home until it is confirmed whether you are positive for COVID-19.

 

An individual in my household was identified by the Health Department as a close contact to someone with COVID-19 and now has symptoms consistent with COVID-19. Should I and other people in my household quarantine?


YES.  Because an individual in your household is exhibiting symptoms consistent with COVID-19, we strongly recommend that you and the other members of your household quarantine, like the identified close contact in your household is doing, until the result of their COVID-19 test is known.  

An individual in my household was exposed to someone with confirmed COVID-19 and is undergoing testing. The person in my household has no symptoms. Can I continue to work while awaiting the test result?


Yes, because you are only a contact of a close contact (not a close contact yourself).  You may consider quarantining like the identified close contact in your household though, until you get their test result.  

An individual in my household was with someone who was a close contact to someone with COVID-19. Does anyone in our household need to quarantine?


No. Only close contacts are required to be quarantined (not contacts of close contacts).  However, if the close contact is determined to be COVID-19 positive, the person in your household who was exposed to them would need to quarantine and would be contacted by the local Health Department. 

How long do I need to quarantine if someone in my house is COVID-19 positive? 

The most current information can found here