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Contact Tracing Guidelines

A close contact is someone who has had the following interaction(s) with a COVID-19 positive case:

  • Anyone who works at Swarthmore and shares your home
  • Anyone who was face-to-face with you and within 6 feet of you without a mask for more than 15 minutes over a 24 hour period. 
  • Anyone who had physical contact with you (shaking hands, high fiving, touching elbows, hugging etc.)
  • Anyone who had direct contact with your secretions, such as touching a used tissue or sharing a cup or utensils.

If you have been identified as a close contact you must test at day 5 after exposure. The day of exposure is considered day 0. You must also follow the instructions below, depending on your close contact status, as defined: 

Status Staff and Faculty Students
Close contact, asymptomatic
  • No quarantine, can report to work
  • Antigen test on day 5 after exposure
  • Masking and behavior modification+ through day 10
  • No quarantine, can go to class, masked at all times
  • Antigen test on day 5 after exposure
  • Masking and behavior modification+ through day 10 post exposure
Close contact, symptomatic
  • Quarantine minimum of 5 days
  • Take an antigen test as soon as possible
  • Repeat antigen test 24-48 hours later or take a PCR test
  • Return to work when symptoms are resolved*
  • Masking and behavior modification+ through day 10
  • Evaluation by Student Health & Wellness Center and quarantine until test results are reviewed
  • No class, activities, sports, etc. while waiting for a test or while awaiting test results
  • Return to class after negative test result and symptom improvement
  • Masking and behavior modification+ through day 10
Close contact, high-risk**
  • Isolate from the case
  • Work remotely, if possible
  • Take an antigen test on the fifth day after the contact's positive test
  • If you can’t work remotely, you must have a negative antigen test each day you report to work through the 5th day after the contact’s positive test
  • Masking and behavior modification+ through day 10
N/A

* Resolved symptoms are when you are fever free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication AND symptoms have improved enough to return to work with no more than minimal respiratory symptoms (nasal congestion, cough, sore throat).

** High-risk close contact is a person who has a positive household exposure. A household exposure is when someone you live with (i.e., a roommate, significant other/intimate partner) tests positive for COVID. 

+ Wear a well-fitted mask for 10 full days any time you are around others. Do not go to places where you are unable to wear a mask. Practice modified behaviors such as: 

  • Not eating and drinking with anyone 
  • Masking at all times 
  • Space yourself out when working with others 
  • Try to do individualized work instead of being in groups  

If you have had a diagnosed COVID-19 infection in the past 90 days, you are exempt from the contact tracing procedures outlined above. However, if you develop symptoms after being identified as a close contact, you should seek medical evaluation.