What is Close Contact in Los Angeles County Department of Public Health?

Learn what close contact means according to LA County Department of Public Health & how to protect yourself from COVID-19.

What is Close Contact in Los Angeles County Department of Public Health?

If you have been in close contact with someone who tests positive or is presumed positive for COVID-19, it is important to quarantine yourself. Even if you feel fine now, you may still be infected. Symptoms can take as little as two days and up to fourteen days to appear, so it is important to stay home and separate yourself from others in your home as much as possible. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health website has detailed information on home quarantine in a dozen languages here.

You can also learn more about the symptoms of COVID-19 and what to do if you are exposed here. If you have tested positive for COVID-19 or a doctor has told you that you are presumed to have tested positive, you should isolate yourself at home. You should also immediately inform anyone you have been in contact with that you are positive so that they can immediately quarantine and get tested to find out if the result is positive. The county Department of Public Health website has detailed information on home isolation here.

Help stop the spread of COVID-19 by responding if you receive a call from “LA PublicHealth” or by calling 1-833-641-0305 (see the contact tracing section). Read more about the vaccine in Los Angeles here. Vaccines strengthen your immune system so that it is ready to fight the virus if you are exposed, while other measures such as masks and social distancing help reduce the chances of being exposed to or transmitting the virus. Taken together, these tools offer the best protection against COVID-19 until the United States achieves herd immunity, which means that enough people have been vaccinated to significantly reduce the spread of coronavirus. Vaccines are distributed by appointment only and the trial is free for everyone, regardless of insurance status.

It is important that communication with the public be carried out in a culturally appropriate manner, including interacting meaningfully with community representatives of affected communities, collaborating with organizations that provide community services, respecting the cultural practices of the community, and considering the social, economic, and immigration contexts in which people from these communities live and work. Everyone* must wear a mask in certain public transport environments, in companies or workplaces, when attending major events. This guide provides a framework for the general public and local health jurisdictions (LHJ), in line with recent recommendations from the CDC, related to both isolation and quarantine here. City of Los Angeles Department of Emergency Management, Office of the Mayor of Los Angeles, Karen Bass, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health are all working together to help build trust and contain the spread of COVID-19 by employing public health personnel who are fluent in the preferred language of affected communities and providing contact tracing teams to identify cases. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) defines close contact as any person who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from 48 hours before illness onset (or 48 hours before test specimen collection if asymptomatic) until the time the patient is isolated. Close contact can include household members, intimate partners, healthcare personnel or any other individual who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes.

If you have been identified as a close contact by LACDPH or another health department, it is important to follow their instructions for quarantine or isolation and testing. It is also important to remember that even if you have been identified as a close contact, it does not necessarily mean that you will become infected with COVID-19; however, it does mean that there is an increased risk of infection. It is important to take all necessary precautions such as wearing a face covering when around others outside your household, washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content when soap and water are not available, avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands, avoiding close contact with people who are sick and staying home when you are sick. By following these guidelines and taking all necessary precautions, we can help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our communities.