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Contact Tracing, Isolation, and Quarantine

Contact tracing, isolation, and quarantine are important public health tools that will be used to minimize the spread of COVID-19 within our community. COVID-positive individuals will be isolated, and are expected to fully participate in contact tracing efforts and prevention measures to identify any individuals who may be close contacts. Individuals who are determined to be close contacts of COVID-19 positive individuals are expected to quarantine and comply with all instructions from the Tompkins County Health Department.

The Difference Between Isolation and Quarantine

Individuals who are COVID-positive will be required to isolate. People who are isolated must remain at home in isolation for a minimum of 10 days since symptoms first appeared and until at least 3 days (72 hours) have passed since recovery. Recovery is defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath).

You will be asked to quarantine while awaiting your test results or if you might have been exposed to a person positive for COVID-19. Quarantine helps prevent spread of disease that can occur before a person knows they are sick or if they are infected with the virus without feeling symptoms. People in quarantine should stay home, separate themselves from others, monitor their health, and follow directions from the Tompkins County Health Department. If you were in contact with a person with COVID-19, you will be asked to stay home for 14 days after your last contact with that person. 

Isolation After Positive Results

Individuals who are not cleared to access campus due to a positive COVID-19 test result, either at initial testing or any other testing that occurs during the semester, must isolate until cleared by the Tompkins County Health Department. 

Employees and off-campus students will isolate in their own residence and will receive guidance from the Tompkins County Health Department. When in isolation, you may not access campus or the broader Ithaca community until cleared by the Tompkins County Health Department.

Residential students who are not cleared to return to campus will be temporarily relocated to Emerson Hall or a local hotel arranged by the college. Students must remain in isolation until release is approved by the Tompkins County Health Department. Ithaca College will provide support to ensure that daily needs (e.g., food, medication) are met.

Quarantine Location

Employees and off-campus students will quarantine in your own housing, and you will be contacted on a regular basis by Tompkins County Health Department personnel. Off-campus students will receive medical support from Hammond Health Center. Employees are also encouraged to access the COVID-19 Employee Resources available on the Human Resources webpage. When in quarantine, you may not access campus or the broader Ithaca community until cleared by the Tompkins County Health Department.

Residential students will be quarantined in Emerson Hall, which offers an individual space with a private bathroom, or a local hotel. Ithaca College will provide you with dining, sanitation, medical, mental health, and academic support services as needed. Students in quarantine must remain in the room provided and may not access campus or the broader Ithaca community until cleared by the Tompkins County Health Department. 

It may be possible for you to travel to complete quarantine in your primary home if you do not have to access public or mass transportation for travel.

Information Collected During Contact Tracing

Members of the Ithaca College campus community are expected to fully participate in contact tracing efforts. During contact tracing, you may be asked questions related to:

  • Your demographics (e.g., age, sex, race)
  • Medical information
  • Potential exposure to COVID-19
  • Potential infectious period
  • Any COVID-19-related symptoms, including the date when they started and how long the symptoms lasted
  • Any contacts during the infectious period. Contacts may include household members, intimate partners, individuals providing care in a household, and individuals who have had close contact (less than six feet) for a prolonged period of time
  • Identifying and locating information for each contact

Your individually identifiable information will not be provided to people who are contacted, they will only be made aware that they have been in contact with someone who is COVID-19 positive.

Close Contacts

A close contact is typically defined as someone you were in contact with:

  1. for more than 10 minutes in duration; and 
  2. within six feet; and
  3. within the last 48 hours.

You can be prepared to help the contact tracing process by having a heightened sense of your contacts every day. The Tompkins County Health Department will make the determination through contact tracing who qualifies as a close contact. If you are identified as a close contact, you will be required to quarantine for 14 days. 

Enforcement of Contact Tracing, Isolation, and Quarantine

Non-compliance with contact tracing, isolation, or quarantine is a violation of the community agreement. Violations by faculty or staff will be subject to disciplinary processes in accordance with the respective policies in the Ithaca College Policy Manual or collective bargaining agreement covering the individual. Violations by students, both residential and off-campus, will be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with the Student Conduct Code.