Contact Tracing and Results


The following information is provided to help you better understand the process and outcomes for student testing positive to COVID-19 or students who are part of the contact tracing process.

Excellent resources on testing and contact tracing process at ISU can be found here.

Process overview:

Definition of exposure:

  • Must meet all 3 criteria (CDC guidelines)
  • Must have been 1) within 6 feet for 2) at least 15 continuous minutes with a 3) confirmed positive
    • Regardless of whether face covering were used or not
    • Time period of concern for exposure starts either:
      • 2 days before the individual testing positive started to have clinical signs
      • 2 days before the individual testing positive was tested (date of sampling not date of test result)
  • Exposure graphic

Student notified of possible exposure:

  • If the notification is from a public health official (i.e. an official notification to isolate or quarantine) then your exposure has been confirmed and follow the directions provided by health official. Classroom Contact Tracing
  • If the notification is from any other person ( roommate, classmate, instructor, etc.) exposure will need to be confirmed officially by contact tracing team (they will contact you). Until exposure is confirmed you are not yet considered exposed and you are yet not excused from missing class/labs/assignments/exams. If you have clinical signs, you must stay home, just like you would for any other illness.
  • Exposure NOT yet confirmed (i.e. have not received official communication)
    • You are welcome to contact any of the following to try and get tested and obtain further directions:
      1. Contact Thielen Student Health (PREFFERED ROUTE. Free testing if qualified)
        1. 515-294-5801
        2. 800-524-6877 (after hours)
        3. Website
      2. Contact your primary care physician
      3. Contact Test Iowa (Free testing if qualified)
        1. Website

Exposure confirmed waiting Testing or Test results pending:

  • Students confirmed by public health team as exposed to COVID-19 will be asked to start a 10 -14 day quarantine and may be asked to be tested for COVID-19 as well.
  • While waiting to be tested and waiting for test results please, follow the recommendations from public health officials (follow the pending result)
    • VM4 students doing clinical rotations at ISU teaching hospital, veterinary diagnostic laboratory, or field services are considered essential workers. Preceptorships, GPVEC, or any other external experience are NOT considered part of the essential infrastructure of ISU and thus do not quality those students as essential workers.
    • VM1-VM3 and graduate students are NOT considered essential workers.

Student Testing Positive:

  • Student is notified they tested positive
    • If student is tested at ISU Thielen Student Health Center – ISU Public Health Team will initiate a case investigation and contact tracing
    • If student tested outside ISU, it is critical for the safety and well-being of all of us in CVM they notify ISU by fill out this form.This will ensure contact tracing is initiated and there is an official record with the Dean of Students Office to excuse your absences during isolation.
  • Students should notify their course instructors of that they will be absent from class
    • Disclosure of test results with instructors is optional
    • Students are encouraged to notify their roommates of their positive results so they can start isolation (follow the pending results in attached outcome charts for details)
  • Case investigator will contact student who tested positive and gather information regarding who all has been exposed based on CDC definition as well as who all needs to be contacted for quarantine and testing
    • See attached workflow on classroom contact tracing
    • Please make sure to answer your phone as case investigators need to contact you in person for follow up. Not answering your phone will delay the process of doing the necessary contact tracing.
  • Contact tracing
    • After initial case investigation, contact tracing team will notify all contacts and provide directions
  • All students testing positive for COVID-19 will be asked to follow a 10 -14 day isolation (follow the positive result in attached outcome charts for details

Students Testing Negative:

  • Students testing negative for COVID-19 after being exposed to a confirmed positive individual will be asked to follow a 10-14 day quarantine (follow the negative result in outcome charts for details