Contact tracing

Under the direction of the Boone County public health officials, the University of Missouri’s contact tracing team will oversee contact tracing for students who test positive for COVID-19.

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Contact Tracing Protocols

  • Once a student tests positive for COVID-19, he or she will be asked to create a list of any person he/she has come into contact with during the 48 hours before exhibiting symptoms (if symptomatic) or the positive diagnosis (if asymptomatic).
  • Any individual who was possibly exposed to COVID-19 will receive a call from a tracer with the date of possible exposure and expectations for a 14-day quarantine. Close contacts will not be informed of the name or any other identifying information of the person who potentially exposed them due to federal privacy laws. Individuals asked to quarantine will receive regular wellness check calls during that time.
  • For asymptomatic individuals, a COVID-19 test will be administered 7-9 days after potential exposure in an attempt to prevent a false negative. Individuals experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 will be tested immediately.
  • Individuals who test negative are expected to quarantine for 14 days after the date of possible exposure. Those who test positive are expected to quarantine until they test negative and receive a “release statement” from Columbia/Boone County Public Health.

Testing, tracing and quarantining work group

The testing, tracing and quarantining work group evaluates quarantine protocols, testing strategies and contact tracing. The university experts in the work group have collaborated with public health officials to develop strategies that provide more than a snapshot of a quickly evolving situation.

Tracking symptoms gives the university an efficient strategy for following the disease on campus, and the university will be better informed about whom to test. The test results will then direct the need for a case investigation, isolation of positive individuals, contact tracing and quarantining of those in close contact.

 

Additional Information

A close contact is a person who has had contact of 15 minutes or more within 6 feet of a person who tested positive for the virus. You are also considered a close contact if you have had physical contact with a COVID-19 positive patient.

The university is taking precautions to ensure the classroom environment is arranged so those sharing a classroom maintain 6-foot distances and wear face coverings. If these practices are followed and if a case is discovered in a class, the rest of the class will not be considered close contacts.

First, do not share any personal or personally identifying information about the individual. This is prohibited under federal privacy laws.

Only close contacts will be contacted by the contact tracing team. A close contact is someone who has been within 6 feet of a positive individual for 15 minutes or more. If contact tracers reach out to you, you will be asked to quarantine for an appropriate period of time. You may not be considered a close contact because our classrooms and common areas have been rearranged to ensure a 6-foot distance, and all students, faculty and staff are required to wear face coverings in campus buildings.

Areas where a positive individual has been, such as a work station, will be sanitized.

If you believe you may have come into contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, you should contact the MU Student Health Center or your own provider. Do not come to campus if you believe you may have contracted the virus.