September 1: Contact Tracing, Quarantine and Isolation Protocols

TO: SJU Community
FROM: Cary Anderson, Ed.D., Vice President for Student Life and Associate Provost
RE: Contact Tracing, Quarantine and Isolation Protocols
DATE: September 1, 2020 at 12:45 p.m.

What You Need To Know:

  • If you recently tested positive for coronavirus, recently experienced symptoms, or were recently exposed to the virus, fill out the COVID-19 Self-Disclosure Form.
  • Isolation pertains to individuals experiencing symptoms and awaiting test results or those who have tested positive and are either symptomatic or asymptomatic.
  • Quarantine is for those who are not experiencing symptoms and have not tested positive, but have had possible very close contact exposure to a COVID-positive individual or have had possible very close contact with someone who is symptomatic and awaiting test results.
  • If you receive outreach from a contact tracer, either from the University or a county public health department, answer the call.

As our University community navigates remaining on ground safely, there are a number of protocols that must be followed in response to positive cases. While perhaps complicated and unfamiliar, it is important that we all understand the contact tracing, quarantine and isolation protocols, in case the need should arise to practice them.
 
How does contact tracing work?

  • Contact tracing is the process of trying to identify all of the people with whom a COVID-positive individual came into close contact.
  • You may hear from more than one contact tracer at the University and/or your county of residence. It’s important to work with both.
  • The University and the Montgomery County and Philadelphia Departments of Health are sharing information and working together.
  • Answer the call and provide as much detailed information as possible, in a timely manner.
  • The details you share will remain confidential and will not have any direct impact on your status as a student or an employee. However, the University will act on information received through other methods (incident reporting form).

What constitutes a close contact?

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

Per the CDC, the final determination of close contact is made irrespective of whether cloth facial coverings were worn.
 
It’s important to take steps to avoid becoming a close contact, including avoiding in-person parties and similar gatherings.
 
Please note, contacts of close contacts are NOT considered close contacts and will not be asked to quarantine.  Contacts of close contacts may consult their medical provider if they wish.
 
What is isolation and how can I be prepared?

  • Only those who test positive, or experience symptoms and are awaiting test results, will be asked to isolate.
  • Isolation means you will be restricted from campus and from engaging with others in-person until you are well and symptom-free.  If you test positive, the isolation period is 10 days after onset of symptoms AND 24 hours without fever AND improvement of other symptoms. Asymptomatic individuals will remain in isolation for 10 days after the date of their test.
  • It is important to be prepared to self-isolate, as you will be asked to do so expeditiously. Consider keeping a go-bag with essential items ready should you need to self-isolate.  Have these items in stock at your residence.
  • The University has identified locations for residential students who need to self-isolate in the event they choose not to return home. Off-campus students may isolate in their off-campus residence if they choose not to return home. Students in isolation will be able to continue their coursework remotely.

What is quarantine and how can I be prepared?

  • You are asked to quarantine if you have been identified as a close contact of someone who tested positive, if you recently traveled or attended a gathering where social distancing was not possible, or if you have any reason to believe you have been exposed. The University may also quarantine individuals who have had VERY close contact (e.g. roommate, intimate partner) with a person who is symptomatic.
  • Quarantine separates those who may have been exposed to the virus to monitor if they become sick, for a period of at least 14 days after possible exposure.
  •  It is important to be prepared to quarantine. Consider keeping a go-bag with essential items ready should you need to quarantine. Have these items in stock at your residence.
  • The University has identified locations for residential students who need to quarantine in the event they cannot return home. Off-campus students may quarantine in their off-campus residence if they choose not to return home. Students in quarantine will be able to continue their coursework remotely.

Please keep this information handy in case you need to refer to it. All COVID-related announcements are also posted on the Hawk Hill Ready website.