The CDC goes on to explain that while “[d]ata are limited, making it difficult to precisely define “close contact;” 15 cumulative minutes of exposure at a distance of 6 feet or less can be used as an operational definition for contact investigation. Factors to consider when defining close contact include proximity (closer distance likely increases exposure risk), the duration of exposure (longer exposure time likely increases exposure risk), whether the infected individual has symptoms (the period around onset of symptoms is associated with the highest levels of viral shedding), if the infected person was likely to generate respiratory aerosols (e.g., was coughing, singing, shouting), and other environmental factors (crowding, adequacy of ventilation, whether exposure was indoors or outdoors)."
Employers who have existing policies describing “close contact” to specify continuous contact should consider revising their policies.
The Employment & Labor Practice Group at Partridge Snow & Hahn is fully updated on the new CDC guidance and is available to answer your questions. For additional information and resources visit the firm's COVID-19 Advisory Group page.