Active Monitoring of Persons Exposed to Patients with Confirmed COVID-19 — United States, January–February 2020

In December 2019, an outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2, began in Wuhan, China. The disease spread widely in China, and, as of February 26, 2020, COVID-19 cases had been identified in 36 other countries and territories, including the United States. Person-to-person transmission has been widely documented, and a limited number of countries have reported sustained person-to-person spread.* On January 20, state and local health departments in the United States, in collaboration with teams deployed from CDC, began identifying and monitoring all persons considered to have had close contact† with patients with confirmed COVID-19. The aims of these efforts were to ensure rapid evaluation and care of patients, limit further transmission, and better understand risk factors for transmission.