How contact tracing at Brandeis works in five steps

contact tracing at Brandeis logoGraphic/Jessica Tanny

A team of contact tracers in the Brandeis Community Tracing Program (BCTP) is helping stop the potential spread of COVID-19 by identifying close contacts of individuals who have tested positive for the disease.

Here is a five-step outline of how community tracing at Brandeis works:

Community member tests positive for COVID-19

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Brandeis offers free, high-frequency testing for all community members in partnership with the Broad Institute. 

Brandeis community members living at Brandeis or commuting to campus must complete daily health assessments and submit samples for testing as outlined by the university’s Required Health and Safety Measures for Fall 2020."

Community member placed in isolation

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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.

Brandeis community tracers identify close contacts

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

What constitutes a close contact? 

A close contact is someone who was within six feet of a person infected with COVID-19 for more than 10 minutes. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provide more detailed information about close contacts.

By following the university's comprehensive health and safety rules, students, faculty and staff are expected to pledge that they will adhere to required health and safety guidelines established by the university and the commonwealth of Massachusetts. Each of us has a personal and shared responsibility to protect ourselves and those around us.

Close contacts alerted and enter 14-day quarantine

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A Brandeis community tracer will alert close contacts and instruct them to quarantine for 14 days. Brandeis community tracers will monitor close contacts and check for symptoms with follow-up calls every other day.

Close contacts cannot “test out” of the 14-day quarantine. 

You cannot be tested at on-campus testing sites as part of our high-frequency testing for asymptomatic community members while in quarantine. If you need to be tested while in quarantine, you will be instructed to make an appointment at the Health Center or with your primary care provider.

Re-Testing and resuming full campus activities

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A person in isolation can be released at least 10 days after symptoms begin or a positive test date, and after they have been fever-free for 24 hours without use of fever-reducing medication, and with improvement of respiratory conditions (if they were present).

A close contact can be released from quarantine after 14 days with no symptoms. Close contacts will resume on-campus testing per Brandeis protocols after completing quarantine.

For more information, visit Plans for Fall 2020 on the Brandeis website.

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