Contact Tracing

Since early March 2020, Columbia has had a protocol for members of the campus community to inform Campus Safety and Security if they have tested positive for COVID-19, are experiencing symptoms, or have come in close contact with someone who is sick or is experiencing symptoms.

Campus Safety and Security personnel has undergone the Johns Hopkins contact tracing training, and also relies on a protocol developed by the Chicago Department of Public Health to identify and inform members of the campus community who may have been exposed to individuals who meet the above criteria, and to determine if other members of the community need to be notified that they may need to take precautions as a result of a contact with a person who has COVID-19 symptoms, has been diagnosed or has tested positive.

We continue to support public health authorities and provide appropriate assistance with contact tracing.

How Close Contacts are Identified
If an individual reports to the College they have tested positive for COVID-19, contact tracers will work with the positive individual to identify their potential close contacts and those individuals will be contacted for notification and guidance.

If you are an identified case, a contact tracer will interview you to determine the period in which you may have been infectious. You will be asked to identify people who were in physical close contact with you within six feet for a period of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period, during the time you were potentially infectious.

Unvaccinated Close Contacts
Unvaccinated close contacts are required to quarantine. The Chicago Department of Public Health says a person who "had close contact with a person with COVID-19 is to stay home for 14 days after their last exposure.

Vaccinated Close Contacts
Vaccinated individuals who are close contacts are required to get tested 3-5 days after the date of your close contact, even though you are vaccinated. Your test should occur no sooner than Day 3 after the close contact. You are allowed on campus in the days preceding your test, provided you wear a mask at all times. You should isolate for 10 days if your test result is positive.

Please know your ID will be turned off on Day 4 after the close contact. To enter campus buildings after that time and have your ID turned back on, you must receive a negative test from our campus testing center. To make an appointment at the CareATC testing center at 618 S. Michigan, call 844-766-3775; the phone line is open Monday-Friday from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. In the event that you are sick with COVID-19, employees should contact; students should email and notify as soon as possible. 

Notification Requirements
You are required to notify Campus Security at and Student Relations at (students only) if you are a campus community member who:
  • Has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • Is waiting for test results because you are experiencing symptoms and currently self-isolating.
  • Recently had close contact with a diagnosed case of COVID-19.