Protocol for Positive COVID-19 Cases – FAQs For Faculty

This post was updated on

If a student reports a positive COVID-19 test, what are the contact tracing protocols implemented by Student Health?  

If a student tests positive at Student Health Services, those test results are sent to a contact tracer, who contacts the student to determine the infectious period, the places on campus the student has been and which students, staff and faculty they have been in contact with during that time. As of September 6, 2021, the internal tracing team will be supported by Rapid-Trace.

Once the student’s locations and contacts on campus have been determined, a potential exposure notification is issued to all staff, faculty and student employees in compliance with California Assembly Bill 685 and the COVID dashboard is updated. If the student was in campus classrooms or other campus communal spaces, a low-exposure notice is sent out to students who have been in those locations.

Additionally, close contacts (those who were in the same building, closer than 6-feet apart, for at least 15 minutes over the course of one day) are contacted by contact tracers and may be asked questions about vaccination status and symptoms. Unvaccinated individuals are required to follow quarantine protocols; no action is required of vaccinated individuals who receive a potential exposure notification unless they develop symptoms.

Are faculty contacted by contact tracers if one of their students tests positive? 

Yes, contact tracers will request the class roster and issue a low-exposure notification, but will not identify the student who tested positive.

 Can faculty announce a positive test to the class to forewarn the other students in the class, in case contact tracers are slow? Should I cancel class?

The entire class roster, including faculty, will be notified of a positive case and will be sent a low-exposure notification. The contract tracer will provide guidance on any action needed within the class. Typically, very few students in a class would qualify as a close contact for isolation or quarantine purposes; as a result, there is no need to cancel class, and the contact tracer will be in touch with any students who need further communication or assessment.

What assurances do faculty have that a student self-reported positive test is real?  Will Student Health let faculty know who has tested positive and that contact tracing is in progress?

If a student self-reports a need to isolate, you can request they produce the documentation they have been provided by Student Health, which includes a quarantine timeline. If they cannot produce it, they should not attend class.

One of my students tells me they have tested positive and cannot attend class – what am I supposed to do? 

If the student was directed to isolate or quarantine by our contact tracer, the student should not attend class. Faculty are asked to work with students on ways they can keep current during their isolation/quarantine period. If you want confirmation that the student has indeed been directed to isolate/quarantine, the contact tracer can provide the student with a note to give you. If the student is still awaiting guidance from the contact tracer, we have advised them not to attend class until they receive that guidance; once that has occurred, the student will either provide you with a note from the contact tracer or be cleared to return to class.