How contact tracing works
The process starts with a confirmed positive case. A member of the university’s contact tracing team will reach out to that person to ask about symptoms and provide resources. They will also ask the patient questions about where they have been and who they have interacted with while infectious. This interview can take anywhere from 20 minutes to one hour. Contact tracers then begin the process of reaching out to contacts—first by text message and then by phone. The contacts are told that they were exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 and asked if they are experiencing any symptoms. If they are exhibiting symptoms, they are instructed to self-isolate and get tested. Those without symptoms are asked to self-quarantine for 14 days and offered testing (usually 3-7 days after an exposure) as a precaution. The self-quarantine can be ended prior to 14 days if the asymptomatic contact tests negative.