What is contact tracing? How will it work at Loyola?
When a student on campus has a confirmed case of COVID-19, they will be asked by Student Health Services to participate in contact tracing efforts in coordination with the Louisiana Department of Health. We are asking everyone to willingly participate – so that we can help to keep friends and family safe and stop any community spread in its tracks.
We are also asking any students who are alerted about exposure by the Louisiana Department of Health to contact the team of Loyola public health coordinator at 504.865.3757 to discuss whether they should get tested for the coronavirus.
Likewise, we are asking all faculty and staff who have confirmed cases of coronavirus or have been notified of exposure to alert their supervisor and contact a public health coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or 504.865.3757, so they may receive quarantine instructions and participate in contact tracing through Loyola and the Louisiana Department of Health, for the same reasons. The safety of our campus community is our top priority.
How will I know if I have been exposed to COVID-19?
If you have been exposed to COVID-19, someone from the Louisiana Department of Health or from Loyola will call and let you know. They will also give you guidance about isolation, testing and quarantine.
NOTE: Contact tracers are limited in what they are allowed to communicate on your voicemail, and lots of people have full voicemail boxes, and/or don’t check voicemail. For this reason, it is important during this time to answer calls from unknown numbers.
Please be honest with contact tracers! Loyola has implemented new amnesty policies specific to COVID-19 that state you will not receive any punitive sanctions for any information you disclose to contact tracers about where you’ve been, who you have seen, or what you’ve been doing. We can’t stress this enough, we would rather you be honest to keep more people safe than have anyone lie because you are afraid of getting in trouble.
If you are informed of a confirmed exposure, the contact tracer who calls you will tell you how long to quarantine.
If you receive a notification of potential exposure from the Louisiana Department of Health, please take action to alert Loyola immediately:
- Contact our team of public health coordinators by email at email@example.com or call 504.865.3757, available Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:45 p.m.
- Faculty and staff: If it is after hours, email our public health coordinators at firstname.lastname@example.org and a contact tracer will follow-up with you the next business day.
- Students: If it is after hours or on the weekend, call LUPD at 504.865.3835 for assistance.
Any confirmed exposure—whether student, faculty, or staff—needs to call me at 504.865.3757.
What if I know that I have been in close contact with someone who has a confirmed positive test result?
If you find out you have been in close contact with someone (within less than 6’ for total of 15 minutes or more starting from 48 hours [or 2 days] before your contact had any symptoms or tested positive), you must quarantine for 10-14 days from the incident of close contact. Contact our public health coordinators at 504.865.3757, as soon as possible and let them know you’ve been exposed. If you are unsure whether the contact you had should be reported, call the public health coordinators and they will make that determination. Students, if you are notified of exposure over the weekend or after hours, please call LUPD at 504.865.3434.
What about my privacy? What if I don’t want to share information?
Our public health coordinators and healthcare providers at the Louisiana Department of Health are highly trained and attuned to health privacy laws. All reporting through contact tracing will be anonymous. We want to protect your personal privacy – while keeping our community safe.
If you are asked to participate in contact tracing, please do. Contact tracing has been proven to slow community spread of the coronavirus. To ensure that everyone feels comfortable and safe to report their contacts and whereabouts, we have created a COVID-19 Amnesty Policy for students that is very similar to our general Student Amnesty Policy for drugs and/or alcohol.
We want to encourage students to be honest if they must speak with a contract tracer about where they have gone and who they may have interacted with in case they contract COVID-19 – and so we have removed punitive sanctions for anything they may disclose to a contact tracer regarding their whereabouts, contacts, or activities. Students may still receive education on COVID-19 and related health precautions.