I’ve been notified that I’m a close contact, what does that mean?
A close contact is someone who has been in contact with a positive COVID-19 case. How close is close? Close contact is defined as closer than 6 feet for 15 minutes or more. A close contact of a COVID-19 case should quarantine themselves for 14 days from their last exposure. A family member or co-worker of the close contact who has not had contact with the confirmed case is called a “contact of a contact” and they do NOT have to quarantine for 14 days, unless the close contact develops COVID-19. Someone from the Health Department can answer your questions about symptoms, testing, and the period of quarantine.
If I am a close contact, should I get tested immediately?
No, it is not advisable to be tested immediately after a confirmed exposure. The incubation period for the virus is between 2 and 14 days. If you are tested immediately within a day or two of your exposure to a positive case, you are likely to test negative because you are not within the incubation period. The best time to seek testing is between day 7 and day 9; however, testing negative at that time will not eliminate the need for the full 14-day quarantine period.
What if I test negative during my quarantine period?
COVID-19 has a 14-day incubation period which means someone that has been exposed to the virus may become infectious anytime within the 14-day period. For example, if you test negative on day 4, you could still test positive on day 7. If you are a close contact, you must remain in quarantine for 14 days after your exposure (the full length of the incubation period) even if you test negative during that time.
GCHD is monitoring a number of Grundy County residents who have been identified as close contacts to positive cases in other counties. These individuals are quarantined according to the CDC guidelines; GCHD maintains contact with each person throughout the quarantine period. To learn more about the quarantine process, visit the CDC website.