Infected Person

An infected person is a person who has had a positive PCR (laboratory) test confirming the presence of COVID-19. In this document an 'infected person' should be differentiated from a person who may have COVID-19 but has not been tested and therefore is not a 'known case'.

Potentially Infected Person

A potentially infected person is someone who:

  • has symptoms or signs suggestive of COVID19
  • is awaiting results of testing following a close contact (see below)

Close Contact

A close contact is someone who has:

  • had contact with an infected person (being contact within 1 metre and for >15 minutes);
  • provided direct care to an infected person without using proper personal protective equipment;
  • stayed in the same close environment as an infected person (including sharing a workplace, classroom or household or being at the same gathering) for any amount of time;
  • travelled in close proximity with (that is, within 1 m separation from) an infected person in any kind of conveyance.

COVID-19 is most likely spread from person to person through:

  • contact with droplets when an infected person talks loudly, laughs, coughs or sneezes
  • direct contact with an infected person while they are infectious (both people are, close enough for disease transfer)
  • touching objects or surfaces that are contaminated by droplets coughed or sneezed from an infected person


This is the restriction of activities, or the separation of people who are not ill but who may have been exposed to an infected person or disease. The purpose of quarantine is to monitor symptoms and ensure the early detection of cases, preventing possible further disease spread.


This is the separation of ill or infected persons from others to prevent the spread of infection or contamination.

Disease Cluster

A disease cluster or infection cluster is a group of similar health events that have occurred in the same area around the same time. Disease case clusters may sometimes be pinpointed to certain trips, associations between people or other events.

Community spread

Community spread is spread of a disease among a certain area, in which there is no direct knowledge of how or when someone contracted the disease. While some cases of coronavirus can be pinpointed to certain trips, associations between people or other events, instances of "community spread" are less specific and harder to trace.