What Does A Close Contact Need To Do
If you are a close contact, you must:
- wear a mask when you leave the house for 7 days after your exposure date
- undertake 5 rapid antigen tests over the 7 days after your exposure date
- report your rapid antigen test results if you test positive
- not attend Tier 1 sensitive settings for 14 days after your exposure date, except for the purposes of obtaining medical care or medical supplies, or except if you are an emergency services worker attending to respond to an emergency
- not attend Tier 2 sensitive settings for 7 days after exposure date, except for the purposes of obtaining medical care or medical supplies, or except if you are an emergency services worker attending to respond to an emergency
- notify your employer or school or early childcare settings that you are a close contact
In addition to the above mandatory requirements, it is strongly recommended you:
- avoid non-essential gatherings for 7 days after your exposure date
- avoid contact with people at risk of severe illness for 7 days after your exposure date
- work from home where possible
- report your rapid antigen test results even if you test negative
- notify healthcare and high risk setting prior to arrival for, medical care or medical supplies
If you are quarantining with other people, you do not need to restart the above requirements each time another person in the house tests positive.
What Are My Legal Requirements
If you live with someone who has COVID-19 then you must follow the NSW Health Self Isolation Guidelines and self-isolate for 7 days. You must also follow the NSW Health Self-Isolation Guidelines for 7 days if you have been notified to do this by NSW Health.
If your exposure to COVID-19 was someone outside of your household, please assess your own personal risk using the table below. Consider the nature of your contact with the person with COVID-19 and your own personal circumstances, such as the risk that you could infect the people you live or work with, especially if they have conditions that make them more susceptible .
What You Can Expect To Happen
What to do if you come into close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19
What to do if you are waiting for a COVID-19 test result/
What to do if you are diagnosed with COVID-19
|Answer the call||If a public health worker from the health department calls you, answer the call to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in your community.|
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What The New Cdc Definition Of A Covid
Senior Wellness & Travel Editor, HuffPost
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released another new COVID-19 guideline, this time as it pertains to those who are considered in close contact with someone who is infected with the coronavirus.
The CDC previously defined close contact as being within 6 feet of someone infected with COVID-19 for at least 15 minutes or more. The now defines close contact as being within 6 feet of someone with the virus for a cumulativetotal of 15 minutes over a 24-hour period.
The updated guidance came along with a report on Wednesday that examined cases of the virus in a Vermont prison. Health experts found a prison employee was infected with COVID-19 in August after 22 interactions with people who ended up testing positive for the virus later on. The interactions totaled 17 minutes over the course of the employees shift, and at least one of the asymptomatic individuals infected the employee.
The report stated that the prison worker wore protective gear, including a cloth face mask. The infected individuals also wore masks during most of their interactions, but there were several incidents where they did not. Those interactions took place in a prison cell doorway and a recreation room.
So, aside from this being somewhat alarming , what exactly does this new definition mean for us in general? Below is a quick breakdown.
Contact Tracing For Airplane Passengers And Flight Crew
Potential exposure to SARS-CoV-2 among passengers and crew during air travel is a topic of concern however, risk mitigation measures such as vaccination status, mandatory use of masks, physical distancing, ventilation, environmental cleaning, hand hygiene, and reduced occupancy, applied in a layered approach, can significantly reduce the likelihood of transmission Footnote 40.
- type, severity, and onset date of symptoms for symptomatic cases, or specimen collection date for asymptomatic cases, in relation to the flight date
- current messaging to all international travellers, specifically with respect to any federally mandated testing, quarantine or isolation requirements
- current legislation, regulations and policies that may be imposed on domestic travellers by a PT upon arrival to that PT
- timing of notification and likelihood of getting sufficient passenger contact information within the recommended timeframe, and
- incremental benefit of individual communication to those seated within 2 metres Footnote fof the case versus public communication of the flight number
If the province/territory determines that notification to potential contacts is required, the PHA can follow local protocols for publicly communicating when a SARS-CoV-2 case travelled during the period of infectiousness. The information required is the flight number, flight date, departure/arrival locations, and affected rows of the flight.
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How Will I Know If Im A Close Contact
You may be told that you are a close contact by someone you know who has tested positive for COVID-19, your employer, or your education provider.
You are considered a close contact if you have:
- Been close to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 for more than 15 minutes and they were not wearing a mask or was not wearing it properly,OR
- Had direct contact with respiratory secretions or saliva from the person with COVID-19 OR
- Spent time in an indoor space for more than 1 hour with the person with COVID-19 AND at least one of the following:
- the person with COVID-19 was singing, shouting, smoking, vaping, exercising, or dancing
- the person with COVID-19 was not wearing a mask or wasnt wearing it properly
- the indoor space was poorly ventilated
- the indoor space was smaller than 100m2
The above only applies if you have been in contact with a COVID-19 case during their infectious period, which istwo days before symptom onset or the date they were tested .
If You Are Not A Household Member Of A Covid
If you are fully vaccinated, you need to:
- stay home and self-isolate from others for 7 days from your last contact with the case
- get a test for COVID-19 straight away and another one 5 days after your last contact with the case
- get another test straight away if you develop COVID-19 symptoms.
You are fully vaccinated if it has been 7 days or more since you got your second dose.
If you are not fully vaccinated, you need to:
- stay home and self-isolate from others for 10 days from your last contact with the case
- get a test for COVID-19 straight away, another one 5 days after your last contact, and another one 8 days after your last contact with the case
- get another test straight away if you develop COVID-19 symptoms.
You are not fully vaccinated if you have had no doses, 1 dose, or it has been less than 7 days since you got your second dose.
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Practise Good Hand And Respiratory Hygiene And Keep Your Home Well Ventilated
Everyone should practise good hand and respiratory hygiene.
Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser, particularly after coughing, sneezing and blowing your nose and before you eat or handle food. Clean your hands frequently and avoid touching your face.
Cover your mouth and nose with disposable tissues when you cough or sneeze. If you do not have a tissue, cough or sneeze into the crook of your elbow, not into your hand.
Dispose of tissues into a rubbish bag and immediately wash your hands.
Keep indoor areas well-ventilated with fresh air, especially shared living areas. To increase the flow of air you can:
- open windows as much as possible
- open doors
- make sure that any vents are open and airflow is not blocked
- leave extractor fans running for longer than usual with the door closed after use
You can find more advice on reducing the risks from COVID-19 in your home at GermDefence.
What Should I Do If I Have Been Exposed To Someone Who Has Covid
Your risk of getting COVID-19 will be based on the type of contact you had with a person who has COVID-19. When thinking about your testing and isolation requirements, think about your circumstances, including the risk you could infect vulnerable people you live or work with.
All people exposed to someone with COVID-19 should watch carefully for symptoms. If symptoms occur, have a rapid antigen test immediately. See the table below for more information on what to do next.
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How Long Do I Need To Isolate
If you have tested positive to COVID-19, you will need to stay in isolation for a minimum of 7 days.
The 7-day isolation period means 7 complete days after the day you became a case. This means 7 x 24 hours. For example, if you became a case at 11.45pm on 14 April 2022, your isolation period will not finish until 11.45pm on 21 April 2022.
At Day 7, if you have symptoms, you should continue isolating until symptoms have cleared. If you dont have symptoms after Day 7, you can leave self-isolation.
Are Testing Centres Being Expanded Now Covid
The opening days and times of COVID-19 testing clinics differ between locations, with expanded hours available to meet increasing demand as required.
Testing is available at COVID clinics, regional public hospitals and health services, remote health clinics and private pathology centres. PathWest Laboratory Medicine WA is the State approved pathology provider at all public clinics.
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Who Is Required To Quarantine And What Does It Involve
There are certain circumstances that require someone to quarantine, including:
- returning from international travel
- waiting on a test result for COVID-19
- if you are a close contact of someone who is a case of COVID-19.
When quarantining you must go straight to your home or to your accommodation and stay there, except to seek medical care or in an emergency . Read Checklist for COVID contacts for more information.
If you are returning to Victoria from overseas, please visit Information for Quarantine for more specific information about what is required.
How Will I Know If Im A Household Contact
If you live with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 then you may receive a text message telling you that you are a household contact which will provide you with a link to find out what this means. If you have a NZ mobile, then these texts will come from 2328. If you are concerned that a text is not genuine, you can call or email Healthline and request a call back.
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Rules For Close Contacts
If youre a close contact you must:
- Immediately have a COVID-19 test once you are aware you are a close contact
- Test daily with a RAT for 7 days if you are leaving home. If you are not leaving home every day, you must do a second test on day 6
- Isolate and test immediately if you have any symptoms, even mild
- Isolate immediately if you test positive
- Wear a face mask outside your home, when in any indoor space, unless a mask exemption is in place. Read about exemptions
- Tell your workplace you are a close contact
- Not attend any high-risk settings such as hospitals, aged care facilities, residential disability settings and correctional facilities, unless you are a critical worker with an exemption. Read about exemptions for critical workers
- Not provide in-home care services for aged or disability clients, unless a critical worker exemption is in place
- Not attend a support school unless a critical worker exemption is in place
It is also recommended that close contacts:
- Avoid large gatherings and social events where physical distancing is not possible
- Avoid contact with those at risk of severe disease including elderly, immunocompromised and those with chronic conditions
TEST even if not leaving home follow the rules
|No longer close contact|
Avoid Sharing Household And Personal Items
- do not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, bedding or other items with the infected person
- after use, wash household items in a dishwasher, washing machine or by hand with soap and warm water you dont have to use a special type of soap
- do not share cigarettes
- clean your home with regular household cleaners
- clean regularly touched items such as toilets, sink tap handles, doorknobs and bedside tables daily
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What Does It Mean If I Am A Household Contact
If you live with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 you must follow these steps :
- Self-isolate from the day that the first person in your household receives their positive test result, until they complete their 10 days of self-isolation and are released.
- When the first case in your house gets to days 3 and 10 of their isolation, you need to get tested using a Rapid Antigen Test .
- You can end your self-isolation on the same day as the first case in the household, provided you have no new or worsening symptoms and your tests were negative.
- If symptoms develop at any stage, you need to get tested using a RAT.
- Avoid or minimise contact with the person with COVID-19 as much as possible during your isolation period.
The factsheet below provides helpful information on COVID-19 and precautions you can take to keep yourself and your loved ones safe. The fact sheet should be read together with the advice on self-isolation or staying at home and any specific advice that may be given to you by your doctor, Healthline or public health official.
Answer The Text Or Call From Your Health Department
Your local health department or the DHS Contact Tracing Team might reach out to you with more recommendations if you are identified as a close contact during contact tracing.
What if someone in my household has symptoms or tests positive for COVID-19?
If you are not up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines:
Continue to quarantine for 5 additional days starting the day after the person with COVID-19 ends their period of isolation. Your final 5 days of quarantine begins when the following criteria are met:
At least 5 days have passed since anyone in the house has tested positive for COVID-19 or first became ill with COVID-19 symptoms.
Anyone who had symptoms or tested positive was able to wear a well-fitting mask when around others OR at least 10 days have passed since the day of their positive test or their symptoms began.
Anyone with symptoms is improving and has been fever free without the use of fever-reducing medications for at least 24 hours.
Continue to wear a well-fitting mask around others at home and in public for 5 additional days after you end quarantine. Isolate immediately if you develop symptoms or test positive for COVID-19.
If you are up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines:
Continue to wear a well-fitting mask around others for 10 days after the person with COVID-19 ends their isolation. Isolate immediately if you develop symptoms or test positive for COVID-19.
What should I do if I am unable to wear a mask?
What if I am unable to quarantine?
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This Can Impact Contact Tracing As Well
The new guidance certainly adds a challenge to tracing COVID-19 exposure. The increase of the pool means theres more people to contact and, depending on their level of exposure, more people to request to isolate or quarantine.
Hopefully the CDC provides further technical guidance to state and local health departments to help them implement this so that when their contact tracers are doing these types of investigations, they have a clear way of learning how to delineate who is a significant exposure versus someone who is not, Adalja said.
Do I Need To Report My Rat Result
Yes, if you receive a positive RAT result, you must register it with the WA Department of Healths online portal . You will also need to isolate immediately and you will receive other important health advice.
If you cannot access a computer or internet, call 13 COVID who can assist with registering your result.
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People Living With Hiv
There is no evidence so far to suggest that people living with HIV, who are on effective anti-retroviral therapies with undetectable viral loads, are at increased risk of getting COVID-19 or developing severe disease. However, as HIV infection can result in suppression of the immune system and other comorbidities, people living with HIV are a higher risk group than the general population.
Read this factsheet for more information