Hopp til innhold

Definitions of COVID-19 cases and close contacts

Published Updated

Here are the definitions of suspected, probable and confirmed cases of COVID-19, and definition of close contacts.

Here are the definitions of suspected, probable and confirmed cases of COVID-19, and definition of close contacts.


Suspected case

Suspected case of COVID-19: A person with acute respiratory tract infection and fever, cough or difficulty breathing, or who is considered by a doctor to have suspected COVID-19.

Probable case

Probable case of COVID-19: A person who becomes a suspected case while in quarantine as a close contact to a confirmed case where a test result is not present.

It is recommended that probable cases should be handled in the same way as confirmed cases, although this is not named in the COVID-19 regulations. 

Confirmed case

A person with COVID-19 confirmed by PCR or other recommended diagnostic method. 

Close contacts 

"Close contacts" mean people who have been in close contact with a person with confirmed COVID-19 disease from 48 hours before symptom debut and until that person comes out of isolation. According to the COVID-19 regulations, these people must be in quarantine. People who have had the closest contact have the greatest risk of infection. With probable, but not confirmed COVID-19, it is recommended that household members or equivalent close contacts should be in quarantine.

Household members or equivalent close contacts

  • Live in the same household as a person with confirmed or probable COVID-19. 
  • Have had similar close contact as someone in a household, e.g. boyfriend/girlfriend of someone with confirmed or probable COVID-19.
  • Have cared for a patient, or had similar close contact with a person with confirmed or probable COVID-19, without using the recommended protective equipment.

Other close contacts

  • Indoors: closer than 2 metres for more than 15 minutes continuously with a person with confirmed COVID-19 disease.
  • Outdoors: closer than 2 metres for more than 15 minutes continuously, face-to-face, with a person with confirmed COVID-19 disease.
  • Have been in direct physical contact with (e.g. shaken hands) with a person with confirmed COVID-19 disease.
  • Have been in direct contact with secretions (e.g. been coughed upon) from a person with confirmed COVID-19 disease.

References

About this page

Skip to content on this page

Facts

Coronavirus

SARS-CoV-2 is the name of the virus that is causing the outbreak of COVID-19 disease.

The virus is related to another coronavirus that caused the SARS outbreak in 2002/2003 but is not the same virus.