Contact Tracing/Quarantine/Isolation

How contact tracing works

Symptomatic flow chart
A general overview of steps taken for individuals experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.

Positive Test flow chart
A general overview of steps taken for individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19.

Close Contact flow chart
A general overview of steps taken for individuals who are considered a close contact to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

YSU has established the following contact tracing protocols for when a member of the campus community has tested positive for COVID-19:

  • The university is made aware of positive cases via the self-reporting online COVID-19 form or via county or city health departments.
  • When the university receives a positive case, a YSU contact tracer is assigned.
  • YSU contact tracers are student employees who have completed training via Johns Hopkins’ contact tracing program. They have also completed training regarding FERPA and HIPAA, via YSU Office of Human Resources.
  • YSU contact tracers work seven days a week: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, and noon to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sundays.
  • When a positive case is received, a contact tracer calls the infected person to obtain detailed information about who they’ve spent time with, for how long and under what circumstances.
  • According to current guidelines, anyone who has been within six feet of a COVID-19 positive person for more than 15 minutes is considered a “close contact.”
  • Individuals deemed “close contacts” are contacted by a YSU contact tracer and interviewed to ascertain symptoms, vaccination status, etc. and be provided guidance about potential risk of infection and how to avoid further exposing others.
  • Contact tracers will also determine and advise “close contacts” on recommended actions, i.e. isolation and quarantine.
  • The circumstances of each “close contact” are different and recommendations for potential action will vary.
  • The university is bound by confidentially laws, such as HIPAA and FERPA, when it comes to students, employees or others who have tested positive for COVID-19 or are deemed close contacts.
  • Any information shared with a contact tracer, including names of friends, family members and others, will not be made public and will not be shared with other “close contacts” or with the person who tested positive.

For a classroom setting

  • If a positive case is reported to the university regarding a student who has been present in a classroom setting, the contact tracer or a representative of the Dean of Students reaches out to the faculty member of that class and requests the seating chart for the classroom.
  • Based on the seating chart, the contact tracer calls any students or others in the classroom that may be considered a close contact (within six feet for more than 15 minutes).
  • The contact tracer will follow protocols as outlined above.

Any questions about contact tracing or appropriate actions based on contact with a positive case should be directed to the COVID Support Staff. When in doubt, report the situation with the online COVID report form.

Everyone must continue to perform a daily health assessment and report COVID cases to YSU COVID Support Staff.


What are quarantine and isolation?

  • Quarantine

    Quarantine: Quarantine is used to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others. Quarantine helps prevent spread of disease that can occur before a person knows they are sick or if they are infected with the virus without feeling symptoms. People in quarantine should stay home, separate themselves from others, monitor their health, and follow directions from their state or local health department.

  • Isolation

    Isolation: 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. People who are in isolation should stay home until it’s safe for them to be around others. In the home, anyone sick or infected should separate themselves from others by staying in a specific “sick room” or area and using a separate bathroom (if available).


FAQs

  • What if I test positive for COVID?

    You should submit a COVID-19 reporting form if:

    • You have recently tested positive for COVID-19.
    • You have been around someone who has recently tested positive for COVID-19.
    • You have symptoms of COVID-19.
    • Or you have traveled internationally in the past 14 days.
  • As a faculty member, how will I be kept in the loop of communication concerning contact tracing of an individual in my class?
    • The university is bound by confidentially laws, such as HIPAA and FERPA, when it comes to students, employees or others who have tested positive for COVID-19 or are deemed close contacts.
    • Faculty will be notified by the university of a pending COVID-19 case in their class only if the faculty member is deemed a close contact of the infected individual or if a seating chart is requested by COVID Support Staff for contact tracing.
    • Even in this situation, the name of the student will NOT be shared.
    • It is the responsibility of the contact tracer to determine and notify potential close contacts, not the faculty member.
    • Faculty are requested to remind students who say they are symptomatic, positive, exposed, etc., to submit a COVID reporting form.
    • If a faculty member suspects that an individual has tested positive and is not reporting it, that faculty member can report the case via the COVID reporting form or by contacting COVID Support Staff.

    Any questions about contact tracing or appropriate actions based on contact with a positive case should be directed to the COVID Support Staff. When in doubt, report the situation with the online COVID report form.

  • What is the process for Contact Tracing in Classrooms?
    • If a positive case is reported to the university regarding a student who has been present in a classroom setting, the contact tracer or a representative of the Dean of Students reaches out to the faculty member of that class and request the seating chart for the classroom.
    • Based on the seating chart, the contact tracer calls any students or others in the classroom who may be considered a close contact (within six feet for more than 15 minutes).
    • The contact tracer follows protocols as outlined above.

    Any questions about contact tracing or appropriate actions based on contact with a positive case should be directed to the COVID Support Staff. When in doubt, report the situation with the online COVID report form.

  • How will I know if a student is absent due to Quarantine or Isolation?

    As soon as a student is informed of the need to Isolate or Quarantine, it is recommended that they communicate their absence with their faculty, campus employer, etc. If you require "formal" documentation, the student is advised to request this from the Office of the Dean of Students at dos@ysu.edu. Alternatively, students who are comfortable sharing (or have already shared) that they need to quarantine/isolate, may simply present the letter they receive from the Office of EOHS as their safe return date is listed; however, providing this letter should NEVER be required.

  • What should I do if I’m in Isolation?

    Stay home. In the home, anyone sick or infected should separate themselves from others by staying in a specific “sick room” or area and using a separate bathroom (if available).