Contact Tracing FAQs

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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 5:00PM 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:

    • You were within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes or more 
    • You provided care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19 
    • You had direct physical contact with the person (e.g., hugged them) 
    • You shared eating or drinking utensils 
    • They sneezed, coughed, or somehow got respiratory droplets on you 

  • 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 14 days, even if you tested negative. If you have no symptoms, you are free from quarantine after day 14.

    • 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); members of the Medical Campus should call 305-243-8378. 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 14 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 email the results report to so contact tracing can be conducted. This step is critically important to stop the spread of the virus.