Contact Tracing: CDC’s Role and Approach
A helpful primer from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on best practices and approach for effective contact tracing.
The team will work with a patient to help them recall everyone with whom they have had close contact during the time when they may have been infectious.
For COVID-19, a close contact is defined as any individual who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a total of 15 minutes or more starting from 48 hours before the person began feeling sick until the time the patient is isolated.
We begin contact tracing by notifying exposed individuals (contacts) of their potential exposure as rapidly and sensitively as possible, not revealing the infected patient’s identity.
Contacts are provided with education, information, and support to help them understand their risk, what they should do to separate themselves from others who are not exposed, and how to monitor themselves for illness.
In addition, they are informed of the possibility that they could spread the infection to others even if they themselves do not feel ill.
Contacts are encouraged to stay home and maintain social distance from others (at least 6 feet) until 14 days after their last exposure to the infected patient, in case they also become ill.