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Ohio to explore changing CDC definition of coronavirus ‘close contact’ to reduce student quarantine

Cleveland.com |

Currently the definition of “close contact” used to determine quarantine is within six feet for more than 15 minutes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC definition does not take into account whether people are wearing masks.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said he’s heard concern from superintendents and local health departments over the number of students who need to be quarantined following a confirmed coronavirus case, even though both students were wearing masks.

State health officials are “reluctant” to change the definition, stating the need for more data. So, the state will gather information from 10 school buildings. Scientists will use rapid tests, on the way from the White House, which DeWine says will arrive very soon.

The data will come through following and testing students after an exposure and seeing how the virus spreads. Ohio State University researchers are developing the protocol for testing, but DeWine did not have a start date to announce on Tuesday.