As an instructor, what should I do if I or a student are identified as a close contact?

August 20, 2021

If you or the student are fully vaccinated (that is, it has been longer than two weeks since the last shot of a COVID-19 vaccine regimen), then you do not need to quarantine as long as you do not have COVID-19 symptoms. Following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations, UWM recommends that vaccinated individuals identified as a close contact test 3-5 days after notification. As long as the vaccinated person remains asymptomatic, one can attend class and maintain normal social interactions. If you or the student have COVID-19 symptoms, then self-quarantine and get a COVID-19 test as soon as possible.

If you or the student are not fully vaccinated, then the same guidelines apply as they have in the past for close contacts. First, confirm that you are a close contact. The CDC defines “close contact”as occurring when a person is “within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period starting from two days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, two days prior to test specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.” If you kept your distance from the COVID-positive person and weren’t within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes total over a 24-hour period, then you are not a close contact, according to CDC and local health officials. If you are a close contact, then you should self-quarantine and get a COVID-19 test as soon as possible.