Contact Tracing and Surveillance
UWF is conducting initial contact tracking for the COVID-19 virus for the safety and well-being of students and employees. Any student or employee who reports that they have received a lab-confirmed positive COVID-19 test is contacted by a contact tracker to evaluate potential exposure within the UWF community.
For the purpose of this plan and communications, “contact tracing and surveillance” is referred to as contact tracking, as only the Department of Health is authorized to use the term "Contact Tracing." UWF conducts initial contact tracking for COVID-19 for the safety and well-being of students and employees. Once students or employees report that they have received a lab-confirmed positive COVID-19 test, they are contacted by an official COVID-19 Contact Tracker to evaluate potential exposure within the UWF community.
The information gained during the contact tracking is provided to the local Department of Health contact as deemed necessary to protect the health and welfare of the campus and the community. The only personal information that is provided to DOH is a name and phone number unless otherwise directed by DOH. Upholding the individual privacy of students and employees is held to the highest standards.
DOH and CDC recommend anyone identified as having close 1:1 contact with an infected person to self quarantine for at least 10 days. For more information, please view UWF’s Isolation and Quarantine Protocol.
Examples of what IS considered 1:1 contact include:
- Individuals who have made physical contact with a person who is COVID-19 positive.
- Individuals who have made physical contact with others while they were infectious during their illness and/or two days before COVID-19 symptom onset.
- Individuals without a face covering who interacted with others within six feet for more than 15 minutes.
- Individuals who made proximity contact more than six feet but in the same room for an extended period of time without any protective measures used such as wearing a face covering, washing hands and using hand sanitizer.
Examples of what IS NOT considered 1:1 contact include:
- Individuals who have not had direct contact with a person who is COVID-19 positive.
- Individuals who were more than six feet away.
UWF COVID-19 contact trackers conduct and assist in identifying potential 1:1 contacts with other students and/or employees. General public contacts are identified and traced by the DOH. 1:1 contact information is submitted to the FDOH Senior Community Health Nurse—epidemiology or the FDOH Community Health Nurse as soon as possible.
UWF COVID-19 Contact Trackers
UWF COVID-19 Contact Trackers are required to successfully complete the Johns Hopkins Contact Tracing course. Documentation of course completion must be sent to the Environmental Health and Safety Director.
- Student contact trackers will be assigned by the Assistant Dean, Case Management and are listed below:
- Assistant Dean, Case Management
- Director, Housing
- Athletics Staff
- Faculty/Staff from Usha Kundu, MD College of Health
- Employee contact trackers will be assigned by AVP HR and are listed below:
- AVP Human Resources
- EHS Director
- Additional Human Resources personnel
Student Contact Tracking
Student contact tracking begins if a student answers “Yes” to one of the daily COVID-19 pre-screening survey questions and Student Health Services is notified or if a student contacts SHS and/or Student Affairs directly notifying them that they tested positive for COVID-19 from an external testing source.
If a student tests positive through on-campus testing locations provided by SHS, an SHS representative contacts the patient with the student’s test results and notifies the DOH with any COVID-19 positive results as required by the State regulations.
The Assistant Dean, Case Management assigns the case to one of the identified COVID-19 contact trackers listed above. The designated contact tracker contacts the student and discuss information to include:
- Class attendance and location
- Building and room numbers
- On-campus residency
- Resident location
- Identification of roommates
If a student is identified as an on-campus resident, the assigned contact tracker notifies the Housing Director immediately. The Housing Director works with the student(s) who may need isolation rooms; designated isolation rooms are set aside in each residence hall.
Locations the student may have been on campus for an extended period of time must be determined and disclosed. If locations of concern are identified, the Director of Buildings & Grounds Services and the EHS Director must be contacted as soon as possible for potential deep cleaning. Areas are evaluated on a case-by-case basis for the best cleaning method.
Other information to consider:
- Is the student a UWF student-athlete who has attended training and/or an athletic event within five days before testing positive? If this is affirmed, the Athletic Director or the Senior Associate Director would be notified as soon as possible.
The assigned contact tracker works in cooperation with SHS to set up and/or provide resources for COVID-19 testing via Student Health Services or an alternate location, as well as provide assistance with student needs and/or information about supportive resources (campus and community resources).
Employee Contact Tracking
Employee contact tracking begins if an employee answers “Yes” to one of the daily COVID-19 pre-screening survey questions and Human Resources is notified or if an employee contacts HR directly notifying them that the employee tested positive for COVID-19 from an external testing source.
The employee’s supervisor is required to contact Human Resources. A Human Resources representative then contacts the employee and discusses information including potential 1:1 contact with other employees and/or students. If names from the general public are recorded, those names are referred to the DOH for follow-up. Locations the employee may have been on campus five days before notification of positive COVID-19 test must be determined and disclosed.
Once employee(s) have been identified as having 1:1 contact, Human Resources notifies each employee by email with the following COVID-19 employee notification letter. Human Resources assists with the set up and/or provides the employee(s) with COVID-19 testing via a local health care facility. An appropriate time for the employee(s) to get tested within 3-5 days from contact or onset of any symptoms is determined.
Departments require employees who test positive for COVID-19 to isolate for 10 calendar days from the date of their positive test. Employees are not allowed to return to work until after the 10 calendar day isolation period concludes. Departments also provide the employees with the self monitoring form and resources/ assistance with needs.
If a student is identified as having 1:1 contact with an employee, the Student Affairs Assistant Dean and Case Management are notified with the student information as soon as possible.
Monitoring Cases and Impact to UWF
The UWF Contact Tracking subcommittee meets regularly or on an as-needed basis depending upon the need. A report is provided to the Recovery Taskforce and the President’s Cabinet on a weekly basis to address the summary of contact tracking numbers and information.
Should the numbers increase at a rapid rate, the President’s Cabinet will be notified immediately to discuss further actions needed by UWF. If necessary, additional measures will be taken in consultation with the President’s Cabinet, as well as internal, local and state health officials.