Published on September 11, 2020  

Students and employees,

This week we’re answering your question—Will I be notified if I have been in contact with someone on campus (a student or employee) who has tested positive for COVID-19?  

The answer is yes.  You will be notified through Samford’s contact tracing process if the university learns that you are a “close contact” of an infected individual.  Close contacts are defined by the CDC as someone who was within 6 feet of a COVID-19 infected person for at least 15 minutes cumulatively in a 24-hour period starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic cases, 2 days prior to positive specimen collection) until the time the case is isolated.

What’s the process for following up with students and employees who are diagnosed with COVID-19 or those who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19?

  1. A student or employee is required to email to report that he or she has tested positive for COVID-19 or has been in close contact with a person with COVID-19. It is important that reports be submitted within two hours of receiving notification of a positive test or exposure.  Samford may also learn of positive test results through its ongoing sentinel and focused testing.
  2. The reporting individual promptly receives a questionnaire that collects details on the diagnosis or exposure, including symptoms and contacts.
  3. Based on the reported information, a contact tracer will follow up with the reporting individual and those persons identified as his or her close contacts. Contact tracers are university employees or volunteers trained to provide support while protecting the privacy of the individuals assigned to them.
  4. A contact tracer will communicate promptly with the reporting individual, usually in less than four hours of receiving the assignment. Contact tracing takes place in shifts seven days a week.  Those who are reporting an exposure will receive an immediate response with instructions on how to quarantine.
  5. Relevant information will be loaded into Banner and impacted students and employees will receive instructions regarding quarantine or isolation.
  6. The contact tracer will notify Residence Life if a student needs campus isolation or quarantine.
  7. Residence Life will relocate students as required and will provide instructions for scheduling university support services, such as food delivery.  Medical support can be received by calling University Health Services, or in an emergency 911.
  8. For students in isolation or quarantine on campus, a team will be assigned to put together care packages and offer support for essential errands such as obtaining mail, books and toiletries. 
  9. The contact tracer will call students in isolation daily to check on their symptoms and support services. Those in quarantine will also receive regular communications.  
  10. Once isolation or quarantine is complete, the individual’s Banner status will be updated to indicate he or she is “clear” to resume on-campus activities.

I am incredibly grateful for the team of individuals who are serving as contact tracers.  Just as their work is imperative in our efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 on our campus, your cooperation is essential to the success of their efforts.  It is critical that all students and employees report positive cases and exposure to within two hours of obtaining this information.  This is an important step in preserving the health of our Samford community.

As always, please remember—Mask. Wash. Distance. Report.  It takes all of us.


Harry B. Brock III (Buck)
Executive Vice President
Samford University

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