A casual contact is defined as someone who has had face-to-face contact for less than 15 minutes cumulative over the course of a week, or been in the same closed space for less than 2 hours, with a person with a COVID-19 infection while they were infectious. This may include healthcare workers, other patients, or visitors who were in the same closed healthcare space as a case, but for shorter periods than those required for a close contact. Other closed settings might include schools or offices.

Casual contacts are NOT required to self-isolate in their homes UNLESS they develop symptoms.

Last updated: 03 August 2020

​Monitor for symptoms and seek help if they develop

Casual contacts should monitor for symptoms for 14 days after their last casual contact with the person with COVID-19

Symptoms to look out for include:

    • fever
    • cough
    • sore throat
    • shortness of breath (difficulty breathing).
    • Other early symptoms to watch for are chills, body aches, sore throat, headache and runny nose or muscle pain.

If symptoms develop, get tested

If symptoms develop:

  • Seek testing. To find out about testing:
    • Call the healthdirect hotline on 1800 022 222. When you call, tell them you are a casual contact.
    • Call your local doctor to make an appointment for COVID-19 testing and tell them you are a casual contact.
    • ​Visit your nearest COVID-19 clinic. When you arrive, immediately tell staff that you are a casual contact of a person with COVID-19.
  • Follow the advice in the home isolation guidance for people suspected to have COVID-19 infection.

Note: If you go to see a doctor make sure you wear a surgical mask while you go there. You should travel directly to the doctor or COVID-19 clinic by foot (where practical) or private car. NSW Health advises you not to use public transport.

If you become severely unwell and it’s a medical emergency you should phone 000. Tell the ambulance staff that you are a casual contact of a person with COVID-19.​​

Page Updated: Monday 3 August 2020
Contact page owner: Health Protection NSW