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  • Definitions

Definitions

Published Updated

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

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


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Suspected COVID-19

A person who meets the clinical criteria: acute respiratory tract infection and one or more of the following symptoms; fever, cough, shortness of breath, loss of sense of smell/taste, or who is considered by a doctor to have suspected COVID-19.

Probable COVID-19

A person who develops symptom consistent with "suspected COVID-19" (see above).   

A probable case should be isolated in the same way as a confirmed case. Household members should be in quarantine until a test result becomes available.

Confirmed COVID-19

A person with coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) confirmed by RT-PCR test or rapid antigen test (rapid immunoassay). See requirements for rapid antigen tests.

Close contacts 

You are considered to be a "close contact" if 

  • you have been in contact with a person with confirmed COVID-19 disease less than 48 hours before onset of their first symptoms. If the person who is confirmed to have COVID-19 does not develop symptoms, contact tracing is done from the time of testing.  
    AND 
  • the contact has been
    • less than two metres away for more than 15 minutes OR
    • in direct physical contact OR
    • in direct contact with secretions.

This does not apply when recommended personal protective equipment is used in the healthcare service.

Fully vaccinated and protected people (see below) have exemptions/ easing of quarantine duty, read more here:

If there is doubt about who should be considered a close contact, the contact tracer should make a risk assessment.

The most exposed close contacts are "household members and equivalent close contacts". This usually means those who:

  • Live in the same household.
  • Have had similar close physical contact as in a household (for example, boyfriend/girlfriend, colleagues who sit near each other in an open plan office).
  • Have cared for a person with confirmed COVID-19 disease or had similar close physical contact, without having used recommended protective equipment.

Fully vaccinated:

  • Those who have received a second dose of vaccine. Status as fully vaccinated applies from 1 week after the second vaccine dose.
  • Those who have had the disease and at least 3 weeks later have received a dose of vaccine. Status as fully vaccinated applies from 1 week after the vaccine dose.
  • Those who have received the first dose of vaccine and then, at least 3 weeks later, have been diagnosed with COVID-19 infection. Status as fully vaccinated applies from the time you are out of isolation.

Status as protected:

  • Those who are fully vaccinated (see above).
  • Those who have received the 1st vaccine dose. Status as protected applies from 3 to 15 weeks after the vaccine dose. This means that the second dose must be given no later than 14 weeks after the first dose in order to maintain a protected status until you are considered fully vaccinated.
  • Those who have had the disease. Status as protected is valid for 6 months after a positive test.

The definitions related to vaccines apply to those who have been given a vaccine approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). All vaccines given in Norway are approved by the EMA.

Read more here:

Risk group refers to:

  • People aged 65 years or older
  • People from 18 years of age with certain defined diseases / conditions that increase the risk of severe disease course and death from COVID-19 (medical risk groups).

Read more here:

History

09.06.2021: Added definitions of fully vaccinated and protected and risk groups

07.06.2021: Added information about exemptions from infection quarantine for those who are protected (fully vaccinated and those who have received one vaccine dose)

19.01.2021: Added sentence "If the person who is confirmed to have COVID-19 does not develop symptoms, contact tracing is done from the time of testing." 

22.12.2020: Added sentence about confirmed methods being PCR and rapid antigen tests

11.11.2020: Updated definition of probable case

30.10.2020: The paragraph "probable COVID-19" is updated according to new definitions in the regulations

28.10.2020: Time indications for the contagious period for asymptomatic people , as well as assessments of what increases infectivity, have been moved to the chapter on contact tracing.

21.10.2020: The Chapter "Close contacts": Updated the sentence "Before the test" to "From the time of the test"

25.09.2020: updated definition of close contacts

27.08.2020: Changes to these sentences under "Probable COVID-19"

The category is used when it is not possible to carry out testing, or if the test result is delayed and the probability of infection is high. A probable case should be handled in the same way as a confirmed case. Household members and equivalent close contacts should be in quarantine, but it is not necessary for contact tracing of other close contacts

15.08.2020: From 13.08.2020, all close contacts shall be in quarantine, and there is no longer a distinction between the types of close contact.

13.08.2020 Added sentence that all close contacts shall be in quarantine, but that in some circumstances it can be useful to differentiate between "household members and equivalent close contacts" and other "close contacts". 

12.06.2020
Minor change, added "examples include"

03.06.2020
Added loss of sense of taste/smell as a symptom. Added examples of "household members or equivalent close contact." Some general text changes.

08.05.2020
Definition of close contact changed from contact 24 hours before symptom debut until contact 48 hours before symptom debut.

17.04.2020
Added 15 minutes continuously, as per Norwegian version.

14.04.2020
General updates as per Norwegian version - added "probable" as a category

13.03.2020

New article replaces the old version

11.03.2020
Updated according to Norwegian text changes

11.03.2020
Added "Low risk contact" to suspected cases. Updated definition of close contacts to mirror Norwegian text

10.03.2020

Added two points in list under "definition of suspected case". Added changes to confirmed case definition.

09.03.2020

Some definitions are updated according to changes in the Norwegian text

04.03.2020

Updated according to Norwegian text changes (close contacts, direct contact)

02.03.2020

Updated according to Norwegian text changes. Changed SARS-CoV-2 to COVID-19. "Other contacts" changed to "low risk contacts". Changed definition of close contact and added about closed spaces (e.g. classroom, meeting room, waiting room) with a confirmed cases, changed definition of physical contact to <2 metres for more than 15 minutes, changed from 2 seats rows on plane to in all directions, added people in same travel group as close contacts. Under low risk contacts added use of same transport medium.  

28.02.20 Updated according to Norwegian text - definition of a possible case

18.02.20: changed virus name to SARS-CoV2