A casual contact is someone who has been near a confirmed case of COVID-19 while they were infectious but is considered at lower risk than a close contact. They should still be vigilant and watch for symptoms but casual contacts are not required to self-isolate in their homes unless they develop symptoms.

Settings for casual contact 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.

NSW Health assess settings and interactions to determine the level of risk, this may change as further information becomes available. If you have been reassessed as a close contact you will need to isolate as per the close contact guidelines.

Last updated: 21 October 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 (37.5°C or higher) or history of fever (night sweats, chills)
    • cough
    • sore throat
    • shortness of breath (difficulty breathing).
    • runny nose
    • loss of taste 
    • loss of smell
Other reported symptoms of COVID-19 include fatigue, muscle pain, joint pain, headache, diarrhoea, nausea/vomiting, loss of appetite, unexplained chest pain and conjunctivitis. 

If symptoms develop, get tested

If symptoms develop:

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: Wednesday 21 October 2020
Contact page owner: Health Protection NSW