Community Tracing Protocols

Contact tracing is an important piece of the effort to limit the spread of COVID-19 in our community. By identifying those who have had close contact with an infected individual, and placing those contacts in quarantine, it’s possible to further limit the spread of the virus.

The CDC defines “close contact” as having been within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative of 15 minutes over a 24-hour period.

Your Responsibilities

It is your responsibility as a member of the Brandeis community to work truthfully and cooperatively with Brandeis Community Tracing Program staff. Your cooperation is mandated by both university and state guidelines. In addition, the program cannot work unless the information provided to contact tracers is accurate and complete. 


To encourage honesty and collaboration, any information received during the contact tracing process that may be in violation of COVID-19 policies will be covered under the COVID Amnesty Policy, and the university will not pursue conduct action.

The Brandeis University Community Tracing Program

The Brandeis University’s Community Tracing Program work as follows:


Any Brandeis community member who tests positive for COVID-19 must isolate for at least 10 days. Guidance, support and resources for isolation will be provided by a clinician, the Brandeis Community Tracing Program and the Dean of Students Office.

Wellness During COVID-19: coping strategies and and quarantine resources

Identifying Close Contacts

The Brandeis Community Tracing Program (BCTP) staff will interview the person with COVID-19 to identify any close contacts. Brandeis community tracers will reach out to close contacts who are Brandeis community members. The BCTP collaborates with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to notify close contacts outside the Brandeis community.


Those identified as having been in close contact must quarantine for 14 days. Close contacts cannot “test out” of the 14-day quarantine, nor can they be tested at on-campus testing sites while in quarantine. 

Individuals in quarantine will be instructed to make an appointment at the Health Center or with your primary care provider. Brandeis community tracers will monitor close contacts and check for symptoms with follow-up calls every two days.

Resuming Full-Campus Activities

A close contact can be released from quarantine after 14 days with no symptoms, and then resume on-campus testing per Brandeis protocols.

Quarantine lasts 14 days because it can take up to 14 days for someone who was exposed to COVID-19 to begin to experience symptoms.

(Someone who has tested positive and is in isolation might be released after 10-14 days, depending on when symptoms began, and how fast the individual recovers. That decision will be made by a  clinician on a case-by-case basis, in accordance with state and federal public health guidance.)


Brandeis maintains an online COVID-19 Dashboard containing information about the number of individuals tested, positive cases on campus, and additional COVID-19 statistics in Massachusetts. The dashboard is updated every weekday.