January 27, 2021 — By Wendy Sachs

DIRECT EXPOSURE

  • Exposed directly to a person with symptoms or infected with COVID-19
    • You were in 6 feet for 15 minutes or more
    • You were the one directly exposed to the person with symptoms or infected

INDIRECT EXPOSURE

  • In close contact with a person who is not ill but was exposed to a person with symptoms or infected with COVID-19
    • You were NOT in 6 feet for 15 minutes or more

DEFINITIONS

* Who is considered a close contact to someone with COVID-19?

  • Anyone who is within 6 feet of an infected person for a total of 15 minutes or more.
  • Starting 2 days before illness onset COVID-19 can spread

NOTE:  When counting days, day of exposure is day 0.

DIRECT CONTACT – Q and A

Direct Contact – timing was more than 2 days ago

Q: I worked for a family 4 days ago and they called to tell me that last night one of the family members who was present in the home while I was there, started to feel ill last night.  Was I exposed?

A: Though you were within 6 feet of this person, for more than 15 minutes, in the home, they started feeling ill, 1 day ago.  You were in their home 3 days before the ill person had symptoms.  You would just be watching yourself.

Direct Contact – timing was within 2 days before onset of illness

Q: I was at work today and everyone was feeling great and having a lot of fun.  We even got to have lunch with mom and dad when they took a break from work.  Mom called me today and said she woke up with a fever, is feeling fatigued and has a headache.  What should I do, was I exposed?

A: This mom is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.  Since you were with her just 1 day ago, this meets the test of being in direct contact with a person with COVID-19 symptoms within that 2 day window. Per CDC guidelines, you should self-quarantine for 14 days though it could be shorter.  Check your local health department’s website for information about options in your area to possibly shorten this quarantine period.

INDIRECT CONTACT – Q and A

Indirect Contact – 3 people between me and ill person

Q:  My roommate’s friend, Willy was over visiting for a couple of hours 2 days ago.  Willy called to tell us that one of his brothers, who he lives with, was with a person, Marcia who was exposed to an infected person named Jude.  Am I now exposed?

A: You do not have to self-quarantine in this case unless you develop symptoms.  You were never in 6 feet of Jude, who was infected.

Indirect Contact – 1 person between me and ill person
Q: I saw my mom last night, Tuesday and today, Wednesday, she called me to tell me a person at her workplace just reported they were tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday. He did not go to work on Monday because he felt ill.  That’s why he got tested. He works in my mom’s department and they were at work together on the previous Friday. My mom is not sick with any symptoms.

A: Because the mother was in close contact with her coworker more than 2 days before onset of illness she is not considered exposed.  Because you did not have close contact with the person who is infected, you are not considered exposed.  Everyone should watch for any symptoms, nonetheless.

Indirect Contact – Using a Contact Tracing App

Q: I LOVE my contact tracing app and I always look after I have run my errands.  What is I think I was exposed by having been in the supermarket?

A: The contract tracing app is letting people know that there MAY have been exposure to COVID-19 and you should monitor health for symptoms.  Remember, “close contact” means within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative of 15 minutes or more over a 24  hour period.   In most supermarkets rarely would you be within 6 feet of the same person for 15 minutes.

Lessening Quarantine – click

Montgomery County – click

People who had close contact* with a person with COVID-19 must be quarantined for 10 days from the date of last contact with the person with COVID-19. If a close contact is able to be tested on day 5 of their quarantine or later, they can end quarantine after day 7 if their test is negative.

Delaware County – click

People who had close contact* with a person with COVID-19 must be quarantined for 10 days from the date of last contact with the person with COVID-19. If a close contact is able to be tested on day 5 of their quarantine or later, they can end quarantine after day 7 if their test is negative.

Bucks County – click

People who had close contact* with a person with COVID-19 must be quarantined for 10 days from the date of last contact with the person with COVID-19. If a close contact is able to be tested on day 5 of their quarantine or later, they can end quarantine after day 7 if their test is negative.

Philadelphia County – click

People who had close contact* with a person with COVID-19 must be quarantined for 10 days from the date of last contact with the person with COVID-19. If a close contact is able to be tested on day 5 of their quarantine or later, they can end quarantine after day 7 if their test is negative.

New York State – click

People who had close contact* with a person with COVID-19 must be quarantined for 10 days from the date of last contact with the person with COVID-19. If a close contact is able to be tested on day 5 of their quarantine or later, they can end quarantine after day 7 if their test is negative.

* Who is considered a close contact to someone with COVID-19?

  • Anyone who is within 6 feet of an infected person for a total of 15 minutes or more.
  • Starting 2 days before illness onset COVID-19 can spread