Yale COVID-19 Contact Tracing Program

To optimize the safety of the campus environment, Yale has implemented a campus-based contact tracing program.

What Is Contact Tracing?

Contact tracing is an important disease control measure to prevent further spread of COVID-19. This process begins by asking individuals who are diagnosed with COVID-19 about people with whom they had contact while they may have been infectious. These people (‘contacts’) are then notified about their potential exposure without revealing the identity of the person who was diagnosed with COVID-19. Contacts are provided guidance on how to take care of themselves and prevent transmission to others.

What to Expect

To optimize the safety of the campus and community, Yale has implemented a campus-based Contact Tracing Program. Here is what you can expect if you are a member of the Yale community and you test positive for COVID-19.

1. Prior to contact tracing, you will be notified of your test result.

If you are tested by Yale, either at Yale Health or through a campus-based screening program (for staff, students or faculty), you will be notified of the test result and given appropriate clinical guidance. You will also be informed that the Yale Contact Tracing Team will call you for a contact tracing interview. If you are tested outside of Yale, you should call the Campus COVID Resource Line (203-432-6604) to notify them of your test result. Through either of these mechanisms, the Yale Contact Tracing Team will be notified, and a member of the team will call you for a contact tracing interview. You may also call the Campus COVID Resource Line anytime for guidance.

2. Next, the Yale Contact Tracing Team will call you for a contact tracing interview.

Our goal is to call you within 24 hours of your test result. During this interview, you may ask questions, and you will be referred to additional resources as needed. You will be asked about your close contacts during the time you were infectious (2 days prior to symptom onset or 2 days prior to testing if you are asymptomatic). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a close contact is defined as someone who has been within 6 feet of you for 15 minutes for more.

  • We will ask about people who meet this definition, such as co-workers and other members of the Yale community (staff, faculty, students) with whom you had contact outside of the workplace.
  • We will also ask about your household contacts or those with whom you share a living space like suitemates or roommates.
  • We realize that you may also have community-based contacts, meaning contacts beyond the Yale campus. The Yale Contact Tracing Team will ask about your close community-based contacts. These contacts will be notified by the local health department, but we also encourage you to notify any community-based contacts of their potential exposure. Community-based contacts can call their primary care provider or the city’s hotline (2-1-1) if they have questions or concerns. You may also receive a call from your local health department for community-based contact tracing. If you receive such a call, please cooperate with the local health authorities by participating in the interview.
  • The Yale Contact Tracing Team will also ask about low-risk workplace contacts. These are people who spent a workshift or workday in an enclosed shared workspace with the case during the infectious period but do not meet the definition of a close contact.

3. Finally, close and low-risk contacts who are identified by the index case will be notified by the Yale Contact Tracing Team.

The Yale Contact Tracing Team will notify all close contacts and household contacts within the Yale community. Your identity will not be revealed to any contacts. Information received through the contact tracing program about close contacts of a COVID-19 positive student will not be used to initiate disciplinary proceedings. Close contacts will be encouraged to self-quarantine (stay home and maintain physical distancing) for 14 days after their last exposure. All contacts (close and low-risk) will be asked to monitor symptoms by checking their temperature twice daily and watching for other COVID-19 symptoms such as cough or shortness of breath. All contacts will also be encouraged to get a test for COVID. Students will also receive a daily survey to monitor their symptoms.

The Yale Contact Tracing Team will check-in with all contacts in quarantine at midpoint, and all will receive an email to release them from quarantine.

All contacts within the Yale community will be offered a COVID-19 screening test through Yale’s screening program. Contacts who develop symptoms should promptly isolate themselves and call their primary care provider or the Campus COVID Resource Line (203-432-6604) to schedule a COVID-19 test.

The local health department will notify all community-based contacts. All community-based contacts are referred for testing here.

What to Do During Quarantine