Lane County reacts to the impact of the new COVID-19 near-contact definition


EUGENE, Ore. – A new virus comes with new challenges which include learning more about the disease over time. Now, health officials are redefining what it means to have close contact with a person with COVID-19.

For months, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said close contact meant spending a solid 15 minutes or more within six minutes for someone who tested positive for coronovirus.

However, on Wednesday, the CDC changed it to a total of 15 minutes or more, meaning repeated contacts but up to 15 minutes of counting.

Jason Davis with Lane County Public Health said it meant more people would be considered at risk. He said that this would negatively impact businesses, schools and the community at large.

But he said Lane County Public Health and Oregon Health Authority would follow the new recommendations.

Davis said, “You can give the reasoning behind all the guidance and reasoning. But ultimately the best strategy we have is to reduce the number of cases, and expose and isolate and isolate as many people as possible, “Davis said.

Senior Public Health Officer Drs. Patrick Lidtke said that these new recommendations would help the officers well, but it would not cause any major changes on the ground. However, this would create more burden for tracking.

“They will need to consider, ‘Can we do everything at once and keep it under 15 minutes?” And if they can’t, sometimes with education you have to check right many times; So they will need to be prepared to take that time back and it will make it more challenging or they can certainly alternate it and then no one will add up to fifteen, ”said Lidke.

Luedtke said that the vast majority of transmissions are through large droplets, but there is still a small percentage of transmissions through aerosols or small droplets. He said what is this new change.

He told KEZI 9 News that that’s why health officials think of a 15-minute total count because the virus is at risk since the drops are in the air.

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