Updated: July 30, 2020 at 12:27PM

Contact Tracing, Quarantine, Isolation

Contact Tracing

The CRU’s contact tracing strategy is integral to keeping our community healthy. The CRU team includes nine contact tracers trained to identify high-risk or close contacts, provide timely notifications, facilitate testing, and offer guidance on quarantining or self-isolating to prevent further transmission.

Our contact tracing strategy allows our contact tracers to: 

  • thoroughly identify all high-risk or close contacts
  • conduct timely notification of contacts in time to prevent further transmission
  • ensure resources are available for appropriate medical evaluation of any contacts who are or become symptomatic
  • ensure successful quarantine or isolation of contacts during the potential time frame when they may be infectious (whether they are asymptomatic or not).

Clinical and non-clinical contact tracers have completed an extensive training program, and they have developed a standard set of questions for students, faculty, and staff. Please know, contact tracers will respect and adhere to best practices for patient confidentiality. The COVID-19 Response Unit, per public health practice, will coordinate with the county health department, but will not draw on resources from the health department.

Contact Tracing Procedure Overview 

If you test positive for COVID-19, or receive a presumptive positive diagnosis, you will be added to the contact tracing system. A contact tracer will interview you to identify any close contacts and then reach out them to discuss any necessary next steps, such as symptom monitoring , potential testing or quarantine.

The contact tracing team will also check in with you daily to monitor your health and provide referrals for any additional resources or support you may need

At the appropriate time, the contact tracer can also advise you about scheduling a “return” telehealth appointment with UHS or the Wellness Center for clearance.

Quarantine and Isolation

Quarantining is designed to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others. The University will quarantine individuals who have had close contact with a person who is positive, or is suspected positive while the suspected positive person's test results are pending. Quarantine helps prevent the spread of disease that can occur before a person knows they are sick or if they are infected with the virus without feeling symptoms. Anyone who has been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 should quarantine. This includes people who previously had COVID-19 and people who have taken a serologic (antibody) test and have antibodies to the virus.

According to the CDC, close contact means:

  • You were within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 for at least 15 minutes
  • You provided care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19
  • You had direct physical contact with the person (touched, hugged, or kissed them)
  • You shared eating or drinking utensils
  • They sneezed, coughed, or somehow got respiratory droplets on you

More CDC Information on Quarantining

The University's protocols on quarantine will include:

  • Administering two tests to quarantined students. 
  • Releasing asymptomatic students in quarantine if they test negative with tests administered on day 4 and day 7. (Testing results times may vary.)

Isolation is used to separate people infected with the virus (those who are sick with COVID-19 and those with no symptoms) from people who are not infected. The University will isolate individuals who have tested positive in addition to those who are symptomatic and are awaiting test results. People who are in isolation need to remain isolated until it’s safe for them to be around others. That timeline is dependent on a number of factors; the University follows guidance from the CDC on when isolation can safely end for individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19.

More CDC Information on Isolation

On-campus Students

When necessary, the contact tracing team will arrange housing for on-campus students at one of the quarantine or isolation facilities the University has prepared. The CRU will coordinate support to ensure meal delivery, and assist by providing basic toiletries (bar soap, shampoo/conditioner), cleaning supplies, towels, linens, etc.

Off-campus Students, Faculty and Staff

Faculty and staff as well as off-campus students can utilize their homes for quarantine or isolation. The CRU will maintain contact and provide instructions on additional steps as needed.