‘Close contact’ and ‘casual contact’, the differences explained
Have you been identified as a close contact or casual contact because you have been near a person with a confirmed case of COVID-19? If so, you may be wondering what the difference is between these contact types and how it affects you.
Close contact explained
If you have been near a person with a confirmed case of COVID-19 while that person was infectious, you have had close contact. You may have had contact with the infectious person at home, or any other venues.
What to do if you have been identified as a close contact
If you have been identified as a close contact of a person with COVID-19 you need to isolate yourself in your home or another suitable place of residence. You also need to get tested for COVID-19, regardless of symptoms.
Casual contact explained
If you have been in a closed space at the same time as a person with a confirmed case of COVID-19, but for a short period you may be identified as a casual contact. Settings for casual contacts may include healthcare facilities, schools, public transport, public places, businesses or offices.
A casual contact is generally deemed to be a lower risk than a close contact.
What to do if you have been identified as a casual contact
If you have been identified as a casual contact, you will be notified by text message (if you have provided your contact details to a contact tracing app). If you think you are a casual contact, check the case locations and alerts page on the NSW Health website. You will be informed if you need to get tested immediately and self-isolate. Casual contacts need to be vigilant and watch for symptoms for up to 14 days after your last casual contact with the person with COVID-19.