Public health management of persons, including health care workers, having had contact with COVID-19 cases in the European Union - first update

Technical report
Citation Link

European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. Public health management of persons having had contact with cases of novel coronavirus in the European Union, 25 February 2020. Stockholm: ECDC; 2020.

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This document aims to provide guidance for EU/EEA public health authorities on the management of persons, including healthcare workers, who had contact with COVID-19 cases.

Executive summary

A contact of a COVID-19 case is a person not currently presenting symptoms, who has, or may have been in, contact with a COVID-19 case. The associated risk of infection depends on the level of exposure, which will, in turn, determine the type of monitoring. Establishing the level of exposure can be difficult and requires the case to be interviewed.


The purpose of managing COVID-19 case contacts is:

  • to identify symptomatic contacts as early as possible for isolation and treatment, and
  • to facilitate prompt laboratory diagnostic testing.

Publication data


Algorithm for the management of contacts of probable or confirmed COVID-19 cases

Tool, Patient and case management -

This algorithm shows the main actions for contacts of probable or confirmed COVID-19 cases. Implementation may be modified depending on the risk assessment for individual cases and their contacts by public health authorities.