The state of Iowa has made changes in the definition of what is known as "close contact" when describing contact tracing of positive Coivd-19 cases.

At a news conference Tuesday, Gov. Reynolds announced the changes that are different than how the CDC defines close contact.

It boils down to this: The CDC says the definition of close contact is "persons within 6 feet of each other for 15 minutes or longer regardless of mask use.

Iowa's definition has now been modified to this: If both individuals are wearing masks in non-residential or non-healthcare settings, regardless of distance or duration, they are not considered close contacts.

Thanks for masking.

Linn County Public Health and other agencies still continue to encourage everyone to maintain six feet of physical distancing, regardless of mask use.

"Masks are a simple and effective tool in reducing the spread of COVID-19 when combined with prevention measures and physical distancing, but must be worn correctly and consistently to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Masks should be worn in public settings and when around people who do not live in your household".

- Linn County Public Health

The Linn County Health guidance document is a resource to help Iowans determine how to better understand these new definitions, and to best protect themselves from the coronavirus.

The Iowa Department of Public Health still recommends mask wearing, and frequent hand washing to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Covering your coughs and sneezes and maintaining distances are also still strongly encouraged.

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