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COVID-19 exposure: The rules on who needs to isolate have changed

The Department of Health and Human Services appears to have changed its advice on who should isolate after possible COVID-19 exposure.

Previously, those identified as close contacts of a confirmed COVID-19 case had to isolate, but their close contacts did not.

Now they do.

At today’s COVID-19 press conference, Deputy Secretary for Testing at DHHS, Jeroen Weimar, revealed the change has been applied to the Oddfellows Cafe outbreak in Kilmore.

“The 177 people who’ve been through the Kilmore cafe, we’ve asked them to isolate, we’ve asked all of their immediate close contacts to isolate,” he said.

“They had a call yesterday that said ‘Who do you live with? We need all of those people who you live with to stay within the house and we will arrange testing for you to make sure we keep them safe’.”

Mr Weimar said the new contacts of contacts approach has begun to be used for other outbreaks too.

“For the newer cases coming out of Chadstone that approach is being taken,” he said.

“This contacts of contacts approach is particularly valuable at the start of an outbreak.”