Understanding COVID: Are you a close contact? Or a casual contact?

There are over 30 testing clinics in western Sydney open most days and more than 400 COVID-19 testing locations across NSW

COVID-19 has given the world a whole new vocabulary, and it can sometimes be hard to keep up with the latest phrases associated with the virus.

Hearing you are a close or casual contact can also be daunting… but what exactly does this mean? And what do you have to do if you get told you are one?

A close contact

A close contact is someone who has been near a person with COVID-19.

You will know you are a close contact if you have been contacted by NSW Health or if you have been to a close contact venue.

If you are a close contact, you must get tested immediately and isolate for 14 days.

You must also get tested again between days 12 and 14 after you were exposed and isolate until you receive a negative result.

You must also tell family and anyone you’ve been in contact with, that you have been in contact with a person with COVID-19 – because they are secondary close contacts.

Secondary close contact?

You are a secondary close contact if you have spent time with a person who is a close contact.

You must get tested for COVID-19, even if you do not have symptoms or feel sick.

You must isolate until you get a negative test result.  

This is because COVID-19 is very easily spread, particularly among households and friends.

What is a casual contact? 

A casual contact is someone who has been near a person with COVID-19 but who is at lower risk of getting COVID-19 than a close contact.

You will know you are a casual contact if you have been contacted by NSW Health or if you have been to a casual contact venue.

If you are a casual contact you must get tested immediately and isolate until you get a negative test result.

What happens if you test positive to COVID-19? Find out here.

Get tested

As always, if you have COVID symptoms – even if they’re mild – please get tested.

All COVID-19 venues of concerns and health advice can be found here.

There are over 30 testing clinics in western Sydney open most days and more than 400 COVID-19 testing locations across NSW, many of which are open seven days a week.

To find your nearest clinic visit COVID-19 testing clinics or contact your GP.

To book your COVID-19 vaccination, go to www.nsw.gov.au or visit the Australian Government’s Vaccine Eligibility Checker online.