Contact Tracing

Since early March, 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.

The more widespread availability of testing for COVID-19 is a key ingredient in the reopening plans announced by both Governor Pritzker and Mayor Lightfoot. In particular, under Phase 4 of the State of Illinois’ Plan, colleges and universities will not reopen until the State can ensure that “testing [is] available [in their general area] regardless of symptoms or risk factors.” The Governor’s plan therefore assumes that, when Columbia reopens, testing will be widely available. Because of this, Columbia does not undertake routine testing of its employees and students, but it offers testing for select, emergent cases where this may be warranted.

Public health authorities have primary responsibility for conducting contact tracing and the college supports their efforts. The goal of contact tracing is to notify individuals who may have been exposed to the virus to reduce community spread.

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.