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Close contact and 'Secondary contact'

You are at risk of having been infected if you have been close to someone who has tested positive for novel coronavirus. If so, you can be either a 'close contact' or a 'secondary contact'. It is essential that you get tested to prevent you from spreading the virus if your test comes back positive. In this way, you can help break the infection chains effectively.

Further information

What to do if you are a close contact of a person who has tested positive for novel coronavirus

Important guidance for close contacts (short version)

What to do if you test positive for novel coronavirus

Important guidance if you have tested positive for novel coronavirus (short version)

Learn more about

1. What is a 'close contact'?

You are a close contact if you have been in close contact with an infected person in one of the
following periods:

  • Infected person with symptoms: From 48 hours before the person’s symptoms started and until 48 hours after the person’s symptoms stopped.
  • Infected person without symptoms: From 48 hours before the person was tested and until seven days after.

If you have not been in close contact with the infected person during one of these two periods, you are not a close contact and you do not have to do anything.

If you have been in close contact with an infected person during one of the above-mentioned periods, you are a close contact if you also meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • You live with an infected person.
  • You have had direct physical contact (for example hugging) with an infected person, or unprotected and direct contact with secretions from an infected person (for example if you have been coughed or sneezed on by an infected person or touched a tissue or face mask etc. used by the infected person).
  • You have been in close contact with an infected person at a distance of less than 2 metres (for example during a conversation) for more than 15 minutes.
  • You have been with an infected person at a distance of less than 2 metres in one of the following situation where the risk of infection is high:
    • Activities with heavy exhalation, for example singing, loud conversation or shouting.
    • Physical activities such as fitness training or yoga.
    • Been together in an enclosed space with poor ventilation.

You will typically be notified that you are a close contact:

  • By receiving a call from Coronaopsporing (Corona Tracking) who helps infected persons trace close contacts
  • By being contacted by someone you know who has tested positive 
  • By being contacted in connection with outbreaks of infection in schools, in daycare centres, educational institutions, at workplaces etc.
 

2. What you should do if  you are a close contact

As a close contact, there is no way of knowing whether you are infected until you have been tested. Therefore, you must act as though you were infected, and:

  1. Self-isolate
  2. Pay extra attention to hygiene and cleaning 
  3. Get tested twice for novel coronavirus with a PCR test

3. How many times you have to be tested if you are a close contact

Regardless of whether you have symptoms or not, if you are a close contact, you must make sure to be tested twice:

  • At the earliest, the first test must be taken 4 days after you have last been in close contact with the person who has tested positive for novel coronavirus. 
  • You must take the second test two after the first test. It is imperative that you take the second test to make sure you are not infected – regardless of whether the first test was negative or not.

The Danish Health Authority recommends that you take a PCR test if you are a close contact. Please note that you have to remain in self-isolation until your second test comes back with a negative result.

In special cases, as close contact, you might have to be tested on days other than the 4th and 6th day after you were last close to the infected person. If you care for an infected child, for example, you have been continuously exposed to the infection. For more information, please call Coroopsporing on tel. 32 32 05 11.

Further information

What to do if you are a close contact of someone who has tested positive for novel coronavirus

 

4. How to book a test if you are a close contact

To book a time for testing, please contact Coronaopsporing. When you call Coronaopsporing, you are given priority as close contact, given a test time sooner and can book the two tests at once. 

5. If you are a close contact of someone infected with a coronavirus variant such as B.1.1.7 

There is no indication that the contagion period of the more contagious virus variants, such as new coronavirus B.1.1.7, is different. Therefore, the recommendations apply to all close contacts. 
You will be notified if you are a close contact of someone infected with a more contagious variant of the virus, for example, B.1.1.7. 

You will usually be notified by Coronaopsporing, the infected person himself, or the management in connection with outbreaks of infection in schools, daycare facilities, educational institutions, workplaces, etc. 

Even if you stop self-isolating when you have received your second negative test result, as a close contact of someone infected with a more contagious virus variant, you must continue to pay special attention to complying with our general guidance – including maintaining good hand hygiene and cough etiquette, social distancing, and being extra careful around people who are at higher risk of a severe illness from COVID-19.

 

6. What to do if you are fully vaccinated and learn that you are a close contact

Once you have been fully vaccinated, you must still continue to follow the same guidance on preventing the spread of infection. If you learn that you are a close contact, you must self-isolate, pay particular attention to hygiene and cleaning, and make sure you get tested for novel coronavirus.

It is important to stress that vaccination does not give you 100% protection against COVID-19. So, in principle, there is a very small chance that you may still become infected and ill. Furthermore, we do not know whether the vaccines will prevent you from carrying the virus and spreading the infection to others.

'Secondary contact'

1. What is a 'secondary contact'?

There may be situations where you have been with an infected person, but you are not close contact because you do not meet the criteria for being a close contact. This means that you have been careful, for example, to keep the recommended distance, and you have not had physical contact (e.g. hugged) with the infected person. Therefore, you are not at as high a risk of being infected as if you had been a close contact. 

However, there may be factors at play that renders you at some risk of have become infected. In that case, you will be a so-called 'secondary contact'.  

For example, you may be a 'secondary contact' in the following situations: 

  • If you have regularly been near an infected person at work (e.g. sitting opposite or next to the infected person). Even if you have initially sat or stood a good distance from your infected colleague, you may nevertheless be unsure of whether you have been able to keep the recommended distance. 
  • If you have been in a meeting or at a lecture in the company of an infected person, whom you regularly interact with. You have tried to keep a good distance, but you are still unsure whether you have kept the recommended distance from the infected person throughout the period. It may also be that you have generally kept the recommended distance, but you have sat in an unventilated room with the infected person in a meeting or during a lecture.  
  • If you have attended a gathering or event where several people are later found to been infected and a so-called 'superspreader event' is suspected.

You will typically be notified that you are 'second contact': 

  • By being notified via the SmitteIstop app
  • By being contacted by someone, you know who has been tested positive.  
  • By being approached by the management at your workplace/school/other institution or Coronaopsporing. 

 

2. What you should do if you are a 'secondary contact'

  • Get tested as soon as possible. You can either take a rapid antigen test or book a PCR test on coronaprover.dk.  
  • You do not have to self-isolate and can go to work, school, etc. if you do not have symptoms of COVID-19, but you have to limit the number of people you see until you have your test result back.  
  • You should pay special attention to whether you develop symptoms, and please remember to follow the general guidance on good hand hygiene, social distancing, and wearing a face mask or visor in situations where you must do so.

 

 

3. What to do if you are fully vaccinated and learn that  you are a 'secondary contact' 

Once you have been fully vaccinated, you must continue to follow the same guidance on preventing the spread of infection. If you are a ‘secondary contact’ you do not have to self-isolate but must get tested as soon as possible. 

It is important to stress that vaccination does not give you 100% protection against COVID-19. So, in principle, there is a very small chance that you may still become infected and ill. Furthermore, we do not know whether the vaccines will prevent you from carrying the virus and spreading the infection to others. 

Updated 04 FEB 2021