How Does Contact Tracing Work?

Contact tracing is vital to preventing the spread of COVID-19 within communities. It allows people who have been exposed to someone who was symptomatic or tested positive for COVID-19 to be quickly identified, notified of exposure, and quarantined to prevent further spread of the virus. Contact tracing is confidential, and information gathered in the process is not shared or connected to the student-conduct process. Contact tracers try to quickly build a positive, trusting relationship with the person who tested positive or who is symptomatic for COVID-19 and their associated contacts (the people who have been exposed). You should feel comfortable sharing the names of people who you have had exposure to and identifying locations where these exposures have occurred, in a timely and efficient manner. Not only do contact tracers have to quickly build positive rapport, the tracer must also be knowledgeable about the virus and associated protocols, and communicate in a concise, clear manner, while remaining empathetic and supportive to the unique needs of each person interviewed. The contact tracer must adhere to all legal guidelines associated with HIPPA (medical privacy) requirements, while maintaining confidentiality about specific details of an interview that might reveal the identity of any of the individuals involved. Once an individual has been identified as someone who will need to isolate or quarantine, the contact tracer will have daily interactions with the individual throughout their isolation/quarantine timeframe, to ensure that academic, mental health, spiritual, and other support services are provided, by the appropriate resources, in a timely manner. Have additional questions about contact tracing or want to be trained as a CC contact tracer? Contact Connie Brachtenbach: cbrachtenbach@coloradocollege.edu.