COVID-19 Contact Tracing
Contact tracing is the process of identifying the contacts of people who test positive for COVID-19. These contacts are at higher risk of becoming infected with the virus, and infecting others.
Health Department staff will work with positive cases to identify people with whom they have been in close contact.
People are at highest risk of catching the virus if they are a close contact of a person with COVID-19. Based on current research, a close contact is someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from 48 hours before they became sick until the time they were isolated.
Some examples of close contact include:
- living in the same household with a person who is positive for COVID-19
- being coughed or sneezed on or touched by a person who is positive for COVID-19
- being the intimate partner of a person who is positive for COVID-19
- caring for a person who is positive for COVID-19 without taking appropriate steps to reduce infection risk
In a health care setting, close contact can include:
- caring for a patient with COVID-19 without adequate personal protective equipment according to CDC health care provider guidance
- having direct contact with a lab specimen from someone who is positive for COVID-19 in a way that is not consistent with CDC specimen-handling guidelines
People who are close contacts of cases will be contacted and given information and support to understand their risk, how to monitor themselves for symptoms, and what they need to do to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to others.
If you have been contacted by Carroll County Health Department’s COVID-19 contact tracing team, you may be asked to:
Quarantine – stay in place, either at home or elsewhere, for at least 14 days because you have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19
Isolate – stay in place, either at home or elsewhere, for at least 10 days because you have tested positive or have symptoms of COVID-19
The following documents and links provide additional instructions:
Learn more about contact tracing in Maryland on the COVID Link site.
What to Do if You are Sick – CDC guidance
How to Care for Someone Sick at Home with COVID-19 – CDC guidance
Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Home – CDC guidance
Stress and Coping – CDC guidance
Contact Tracing – CDC