If a member of the campus community tests positive for COVID-19, their close and expanded contacts will be notified so they can take the necessary precautions. Information about the infected person’s name or identity will not be shared with direct or expanded contacts. This information is confidential and will remain private.

Download Elon’s COVID-19 Notification & Contact Tracing Factsheet

Contact Tracing for Close Contacts

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines close contact as someone who has been exposed to an infected person while contagious (beginning two days before the illness symptoms were noticed or two days before a test sample was collected until the time the patient is isolated), for at least 15 minutes at a distance of less than six feet. Both the Alamance County Health Department and the university will work together to notify those who are considered close contacts.

Icon showing person with a fever

Being Exposed to an Infected Person

Icon showing date circled on a calendar

2 Days Before Illness Onset / Test Sample Collected

Icon of a clock highlighting 15 minutes

For 15 Minutes at Less than 6 Feet

Icon of a person not wearing a mask

Without Wearing a Mask

Health Department Response

The university maintains a strong working relationship with the Alamance County Health Department and other community partners. Once a healthcare provider notifies the health department of a positive case of COVID-19, the health department will:

  • Reach out to the infected person to offer support and identify close contacts. If notified by phone, either NC OUTREACH or the local health department number will appear on the caller ID. Close contacts may also receive a text message from the number 45394 or email from NC-ARIAS-NoReply@dhhs.nc.gov with further instructions.
  • Contact those individuals to tell them they may have been exposed to COVID-19, offer support, help them understand what exposure means, explain they need to be quarantined and share how to check symptoms or get tested.

The duration of quarantine depends on whether the person chooses to be tested, the results of that test and whether they develop symptoms. In general, quarantine lasts for 14 days from the date of last close contact exposure to the known infected person. You can read Elon’s quarantine and isolation protocols here. In the event of a surge in cases or if contact tracing needs exceeds the capacity of the health department staff, the health department may call upon expanded resources offered by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

University Response

If the health department staff is aware the infected person is associated with Elon, they will notify the university and share the names of any identified close contacts who may also be affiliated with the university. This allows the university to work with those students, faculty and staff to offer support and resources in a timely manner.

  • Any student who receives a positive test result that they believe may not have been reported to the university by the county health department should upload a copy of their positive test result to their Phoenix Health Portal or send directly to the University’s medical director, Dr. Ginette Archinal, at garchinal@elon.edu.
  • Student Care & Outreach staff will reach out to any student referred by the Alamance County Health Department or Student Health Services to assist with quarantine plans and make arrangements for remote learning. Students should also contact Student Care & Outreach themselves by emailing quarantine-support@elon.edu to provide their name, contact information and test date (sample collection).  
  • Human Resources staff will contact any faculty and staff members referred by the health department to provide support, resources and guidance to make plans for work arrangements.

Expanded Contacts Notification

As a matter of heightened caution and to reduce the spread of the virus, the university will also notify students, faculty and staff who are expanded contacts of a student, faculty or staff member who tests positive for COVID-19. If all health precautions have been followed, there is little to no risk of direct exposure, but heightened vigilance is always best. The university defines expanded contacts as those students, faculty and staff who do not meet the close contact criteria but who may have been in direct contact with an ill member of the Elon community. This includes those living in proximity to an ill student, officemates and others (classmates, faculty, staff, teammates, members of an organization, etc.) with whom the ill person may have interacted.

Icon showing two students

Suite Mates of Ill Student

Icon showing two officemates

Officemates of Ill Faculty/Staff

Icon showing three people

Others Who May Have Had Direct Contact But Do Not Meet Close Contact Criteria

University Response

Expanded contacts will receive an email from the Office of the Dean of Students or Human Resources. They will not be ordered to quarantine but will be advised to remain vigilant about preventive practices, monitor their health and seek health care if they become symptomatic to limit the risk of exposing others. They will also be advised of university resources and available testing options if they are concerned.