Close contacts are defined as having been within 6 feet of a case for a cumulative 15 minutes or more in a 24-hour period. Individuals identified as close contacts through case investigation or who self-identify as having a close contact exposure, will be assessed for their need to quarantine based on their vaccination status and their association with medical programs. Contact tracers identify, monitor and support the close contacts who have been exposed to, and possibly infected with, COVID-19. Contact tracing is important because it identifies those most at risk of contracting COVID-19. If identified early enough, the individual can quarantine prior to becoming infectious and prevent further spread of COVID-19.

Contact tracers are health sciences students who have received specialized training and have been authorized to conduct contact tracing in partnership with the Washtenaw County Health Department that has jurisdiction in the Ann Arbor area. The U-M contact tracer contacts all U-M associated close contacts and household contacts who were identified from the case’s investigation. They inform them of their potential exposure, provide education about quarantining, assist with resources to properly quarantine, and initiate symptom tracking. Testing is not required, but may be part of a campus testing strategy if capacity exists to do so.