Contact Tracing FAQs

Visit coronavirus.miami.edu for the latest information about the University's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.


If needed, contact tracing will be initiated to identify University of Miami individuals who may have come into contact with an infected person. Contact tracing will be conducted by the University's UTRACE team for any confirmed cases, and COVID-19-positive individuals will be required to self-isolate.

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  • What is contact tracing?

    Contact tracing is the process of identifying people who are infected or who might have come in contact with a COVID-19 positive individual and the subsequent collection of further information about these contacts. Contact tracing will be conducted by the University's UTRACE team for any confirmed cases within the University community, and COVID-19 positive individuals will be required to self-isolate.

  • What is UTRACE?

    UTRACE = UM Tracking, Resources, and Assessment of COVID-19 Epidemiology. UTRACE was established on March 17, 2020, and its purpose is to support the coordination, tracking, and educational resources of COVID-19 contact for presumptive and confirmed cases among UM students, faculty, and staff.

  • Will faculty be notified when a student who is registered for their class tests positive for COVID-19?

    Yes, a notification will be sent via email to the instructor of record. 

  • Do faculty need to change anything if they receive one of these notifications?

    If you receive one of these notifications, please answer the following three questions:

    • Is this a lecture-based class?
    • Was physical distancing maintained throughout the entire class duration?
    • Were students wearing masks?


    If your answer to all of these questions is YES, close contacts in the instructional setting are unlikely to have occurred. You do not need to adjust your personal or classroom activities.

    However, if you answered NO to any of these questions, or have additional information to share about your instructional style and/or interactions with students, please call the UTRACE contact tracing team at 305-284-2200. We are available between 8:00AM and 7:00PM on weekdays and 9:00AM to 5:00PM on weekends to talk through your concerns and to assess situations in which close contacts may have occurred in the classroom. We want to work with you to better evaluate any in-class-based risk and to address it efficiently and effectively.

  • Are faculty typically identified as a close contact of a student who tests positive for COVID-19 in their class?

    Close contacts are not likely to arise in the classroom given the attention to maintaining physical distancing in nearly all instructional spaces across the University. 

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the following counts as a close contact:

    • Someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period* starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to test specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.

      * Individual exposures added together over a 24-hour period (e.g., three 5-minute exposures for a total of 15 minutes). Data are limited, making it difficult to precisely define "close contact;" however, 15 cumulative minutes of exposure at a distance of 6 feet or less can be used as an operational definition for contact investigation. Factors to consider when defining close contact include proximity (closer distance likely increases exposure risk), the duration of exposure (longer exposure time likely increases exposure risk), whether the infected individual has symptoms (the period around onset of symptoms is associated with the highest levels of viral shedding), if the infected person was likely to generate respiratory aerosols (e.g., was coughing, singing, shouting), and other environmental factors (crowding, adequacy of ventilation, whether exposure was indoors or outdoors). Because the general public has not received training on proper selection and use of respiratory PPE, such as an N95, the determination of close contact should generally be made irrespective of whether the contact was wearing respiratory PPE. At this time, differential determination of close contact for those using fabric face coverings is not recommended.

  • What's the difference between isolation and quarantine?

    Below are the definitions and protocols of how we manage possible exposure to the coronavirus (COVID-19): 

    • Isolation: If you have tested positive, you are requested to isolate, according to current CDC guidelines, for 10 days from the time of testing; have improvement of any symptoms; and be fever-free without the use of fever-reducing medication like acetaminophen or ibuprofen for 24 hours.

    • Quarantine/Self-Quarantine: If you are in direct, close contact with a positive individual—for example a roommate or significant other—you should be tested. You will be required to be in quarantine for 7 days, even if you tested negative. If you have no symptoms, you are free from quarantine after day 7.

    • Abridged Quarantine: If you are in indirect, close contact with positive individuals—for example a hallmate living in a residence hall, or a casual contact in an apartment or house with shared common areas—you are placed in "abridged quarantine." You should be tested and if negative remain in quarantine for five days and then tested again. If the repeat test is negative, you are then released from abridged quarantine.

  • Who should I contact if I have symptoms and/or exposure to COVID-19?

    If you do feel ill or have reason to believe that you have been exposed to the virus, do not come to campus. Instead, call the University's COVID-19 hotline at 305-243-ONE-U (6638). The hotline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. UHealth physicians and providers will answer your questions and provide telemedicine services if needed.

    You may be asked to self-quarantine for 7 days from the time of exposure and while awaiting test results. Monitor your symptoms and do not leave your home except to get medical care.

    Students, faculty, and staff who have a COVID-19 test result from an outside testing facility should submit the results via the online submission form at miami.edu/covidtestresults or email the results to utrace@miami.edu so contact tracing can be conducted. This step is critically important to stop the spread of the virus.


To learn more about all of the COVID-19 Return to Campus tools, click here.

 

Technical Support:

Students – Contact the Student Technology Help Desk (STHD) at: (305) 284-8887 or sthd@miami.edu.
Faculty and Staff – Contact the UMIT Service Desk at: (305) 284-6565 or help@miami.edu.