Gundersen Health System staff share why CDC guidelines may be important

Guidelines limit interaction over a 24 hour period with a COVID-19 positive individual

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) – The CDC is redefining what counts as close contact with someone with COVID-19 to include briefer but repeated encounters.

For months, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said close contact meant spending a solid 15 minutes within 6 feet of someone who tested positive for coronavirus.

Wednesday, the CDC changed it to a total of 15 minutes or more, so shorter but repeated contacts that add up to 15 minutes over a 24-hour period now count.

Staff at Gundersen Health System say while the guide is changing, it is a sign of learning more about the virus.

That is resulting in better outcomes for patients.

“The guidance has changed as we have progressed through this pandemic. Because we can learn more about the virus. What are the good things about that? Our treatment regiments are working better for people,” said Gundersen Health System infection control team administrative director Bridget Pfaff.

The CDC advises anyone who has been in close contact with a COVID-19 patient to quarantine for two weeks.