Persons (including caregivers and HCWs) who have been exposed to individuals with suspected COVID-19 are considered contacts and should be advised to monitor their health for 14 days from the last day of possible contact.
A contact is a person who is involved in any of the following from 2 days before and up to 14 days after the onset of symptoms in the patient:
- Having face-to-face contact with a COVID-19 patient within 1 meter and for >15 minutes;
- Providing direct care for patients with COVID-19 disease without using proper personal protective equipment;
- Staying in the same close environment as a COVID-19 patient (including sharing a workplace, classroom or household or being at the same gathering) for any amount of time;
- Travelling in close proximity with (that is, within 1 m separation from) a COVID-19 patient in any kind of conveyance;
- and other situations, as indicated by local risk assessments.
A way for caregivers to communicate with a healthcare provider should be established for the duration of the observation period. Also, health care personnel should review the health of contacts regularly by phone but, ideally and if feasible, through daily in-person visits, so specific diagnostic tests can be performed as necessary.
The health care provider should give instructions to contacts in advance about when and where to seek care if they become ill, the most appropriate mode of transportation to use, when and where to enter the designated health care facility, and which IPC precautions should be followed.