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Contact Tracing FAQs
What is contact tracing?
Contact tracing is a tool used to prevent the spread of disease by identifying those who are sick and the people with whom they have come into close contact. Health departments usually do this work, and at Bard we have a volunteer group that is helping to support and accelerate the process.
Why do we need contact tracing?
Since a person may have COVID-19 and be contagious before exhibiting symptoms, or may not exhibit any symptoms at all, it is important that people who may have been exposed move quickly into quarantine to prevent the spread of the virus.
What can I expect from contact tracing if I have been diagnosed with COVID-19?
If you are diagnosed with COVID-19, a contact tracer will call you to check-in on your health, discuss who you’ve been in contact with, and ask where you spent time while you may have been infectious and able to spread COVID-19 to others.
It is important to know that we will respect your privacy, and your name will not be revealed to those you may have exposed, even if they ask.
This call may take 15–30 minutes, perhaps longer or shorter, and it is important that you be truthful and thorough with all information in order to keep you and others on our campus safe and healthy.
What can I expect from contact tracing if I am a close contact of somebody with COVID-19?
If you have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, a contact tracer might contact you to inform you that you’ve been exposed to COVID-19.
You should stay at home and self-quarantine for 14 days, starting from the last day you were possibly exposed to COVID-19. This person will help identify the dates of your self-quarantine, and provide you with information on some of the resources we have available to those in quarantine on campus.
How is “close contact” defined?
Per the CDC, a “close contact” for COVID-19 is defined as any individual who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period, with considerations for whether or not face masks were worn or if the interactions took place indoors or outdoors. Simply passing by someone who later tests positive does not constitute close contact.
What if I was exposed to somebody with COVID-19 but it wasn’t a “close contact”?
According to our medical consultants and state public health officials, the risk of transmission is low if you were not a close contact and if you were wearing a mask and practicing physical distancing. You should carefully monitor your health and submit a daily self screening. If you are concerned about potential exposure to COVID, but you do not receive a phone call from a contact tracer, students should contact the Bard Health Service at 845-758-7433. Faculty and staff should contact their primary care physician.
How can I learn more about contact tracing?
If you would like to learn more about Contact Tracing in general, there are a number of online resources on the topic, including on the CDC website.
If you have questions about contact tracing at Bard, please contact David Lindholm at firstname.lastname@example.org or via cell at 845-802-4246.
If you are ill or having symptoms of COVID-19, or have any medical questions, contact Health Services at x7433. For emergencies, call 911 immediately.