Updated Sept. 17, 2021

The next steps vary depending on vaccine status. Remember, you are only a close contact if notified by health care personnel, not if you receive an email from the person who tested positive.

For unvaccinated students, faculty and staff, being identified as a close contact means you must immediately enter quarantine for 10 days and get tested at day 7 and day 10. Assuming test results are negative, you will be cleared from quarantine. Students will need to go home if they live within 300 miles. Health center staff will instruct you on how to submit test results prior to your return to campus. Faculty and staff should notify your department head and not return to work until cleared by your physician. 

If you are fully vaccinated and without symptoms, you do not need to quarantine, as per the CDC, but you must be tested 3-5 days after the initial notification that you are a close contact. You may attend class while awaiting the test but should limit unnecessary activities or mixing with others, must remain masked at all times outside your residence hall room, and should not eat in the dining hall (get food to go). You will not be tested until at least 3 days after the notification unless you become symptomatic. The 3-5-day waiting period ensures greater accuracy in test results and helps avoid false negatives that can occur if the testing is done prematurely. 

The most important things for close contacts to do are wear their masks everywhere, immediately report if symptoms appear, and limit as much as possible any unnecessary contacts with others. Students experiencing any symptoms for which they would seek medical care (e.g., fever above 100.3, cough, sore throat, difficulty breathing) should not attend class.

If you receive notification over the weekend or outside health center hours, please limit your movements as much as possible until the next day testing is available.


Close contacts are defined by the CDC as persons who have spent 15 minutes over a 24-hour period within six feet of a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 if that time occurred within two days prior to the positive COVID-19 test or onset of symptoms. Students in a class or who live on a residence hall floor together are not necessarily close contacts if one of them tests positive for COVID-19. Close contacts are identified during the tracing process. The trained medical personnel at Lehigh Valley Health Network are conducting our contact tracing and notifying Bailey Health Center of the names of all close contacts. Lehigh Valley Health Network has added staff to the tracing process to expedite the process.