Testing Definitions

Confirmed COVID-19 Case: Report of person with COVID-19 and meeting confirmatory laboratory evidence.

Incubation period: Period of time between exposure to an infection and onset of symptoms

Isolation: The separation of a person or group of people known or reasonably believed to be infected with a communicable disease and potentially infectious from those who are not infected to prevent spread of the communicable disease. Isolation for public health purposes may be voluntary or compelled by federal, state, or local public health order.

Quarantine: The separation of a person or group of people reasonably believed to have been exposed to a communicable disease but not yet symptomatic from others who have not been so exposed to prevent the possible spread of the communicable disease. Quarantine may be voluntary or compelled by federal, state, or local public health order.

Close Contact Exposure: Someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes without the appropriate personal protective equipment starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated. Brief interactions are less likely to result in transmission; however, symptoms and the type of interaction (e.g., did the person cough directly into the face of the individual) remain important. If an individual has been in close contact with a positive case, they will be contacted by the local health department.

Case Investigation and Contact Tracing: Fundamental activities that involve working with a patient who has been diagnosed with an infectious disease to identify and provide support to people (contacts) who may have been infected through exposure to the patient. This process prevents further transmission of disease by separating people who have (or may have) an infectious disease from people who do not.