Proper Surveillance and contact tracing require concerted efforts from various people to ensure that all contacts of a confirmed COVID-19 faculty, staff or student are identified and closely monitored to be able to curtail the spread of COVID-19 throughout the Touro University California campus. This activity involves a team charged with managing the information related to known contacts, monitoring regularly for a period of not less than 14 days post diagnosis. This is an intensive activity that requires cooperation from the TUC community, otherwise we won’t be able to achieve the objective. TUC relies on employee and student assumption of self-responsibility for their health and the health of the TUC community.
This Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) describes the structure, procedures and processes of an effective and efficient contact tracing system. The SOP provides standard guidance for those engaged in contact tracing and surveillance activities.
Contact tracing is an integral component of the overall strategy for controlling an outbreak of COVID-19 on TUC campus. Contact tracing is used by health departments to prevent the spread of infectious disease. In general, contact tracing involves identifying people who have an infectious disease (cases) and their contacts (people who may have been exposed) and working with them to interrupt disease transmission. For COVID-19, this includes asking cases to isolate and contacts to quarantine at home voluntarily. Generally, contact tracing includes the following steps:
Contacts must be systematically identified and monitored closely for 14 days following exposure. Prompt identification and self-imposed quarantine are critical to interrupting the transmission of COVID-19 on the TUC campus and within the TUC community in addition to faced covering, social distancing and increased cleaning and disinfection.
TUC will protect all information and share only when appropriate for public health considerations. The collection of information is to meet the obligations of TUC’s responsibility to report exposures to CDC, California Department of Public Health, Solano County Dept. of Public Health, etc. Information collected will be used in no other way nor considered in any manner or shared other than as a public health reporting obligation during pandemic.
TUC is defining a “new normal” with a hybrid academic semester in which the only on campus learning experiences will be those that are deemed “essential laboratory learning.” A mandatory COVID-19 surveillance testing program will be implemented for any student, staff, or faculty member that will be physically present on campus. Failure to participate in the surveillance testing program will result in campus access being revoked until a negative COVD-19 test is presented. Throughout the Spring 2021 semester, safety is prioritized and mitigation measures are enacted allowing for restarting of essential laboratory learning.
Contact: Defined as anyone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from 48 hours before the person began feeling sick until the time the patient was isolated.
High Risk: COVID-19 is a new disease and there is limited information regarding risk factors for severe disease. Based on currently available information and clinical expertise, older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions might be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Based on current knowledge CDC defines those at high-risk for severe illness from COVID-19 as people who:
Suspect case: Any person, who presents with signs and symptoms common for COVID-19 but is not yet confirmed through laboratory investigations.
There are several roles played during the course of contact tracing and these roles should be played by different personnel. The various people involved include the following:
Contact Tracing Managers: Faculty and staff contact information will be maintained by Kathy Lowe, Human Resources; student contact information will be maintained by Judith Corte, Student Health Services.
TUC COVID Advisory Group: Multidisciplinary team consisting of Health Surveillance Officers, BioSafety Officer, Institutional Officer and ad hoc members. The group collects and evaluates suspected and known case information to provide concise multidisciplinary consensus direction to Contact Tracing Managers and others as appropriate. The group serves as the center of expertise for TUC’s COVID program as well as the repository for administrative level reporting.
Health Surveillance Officers: Healthcare providers given their clinical knowledge, help identify ill contacts as well as identifying physical locations that need attention. They engage in supportive supervision with leaders and contact tracing managers to improve the quality of tracing and interrupt transmission through rapid identification of suspected cases and respond to alerts, conduct suspect case investigation, initiate quarantine, and work with contact tracing managers to follow up with contacts. These officers also work together with the contact tracing managers in their respective areas to monitor contact tracing efforts.
Biosafety Officer: The TUC Biosafety Officer will be responsible for overall program administration and oversight of health surveillance and contact tracing activities.
Self-Reporting Process: Faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to self-report potential or known exposure to persons with COVID-19, any signs or symptoms of infection with COVID-19.
TUC Self-Attestation Policy: It is imperative that faculty, staff, student and campus visitors take measures to protect themselves and the TUC community from transmission of COVID-19. To ensure all are mindful it is urged that all read the self-attestation form prior to visiting campus and defer from visits when there is any question of potential infection with or exposure to COVID-19.
Faculty and Staff (Employees) who suspect, are known to have been exposed to, diagnosed with COVID-19 or been placed on a surveillance tracer for COVID-19 will report directly to Human Resources by calling 707-638-5806 or sending an email to email@example.com as soon as possible for an interview. Employees do not have to notify supervisor first. Self-quarantine should be initiated on first knowledge of potential or known exposure. Employees will be monitored and directed on next steps by Human Resources
Students who suspect, are known to have been exposed to, diagnosed with COVID-19 or been placed on a surveillance tracer for COVID-19 will report directly to Student Health Center by calling 707-638-5220 or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible for an interview. Self-quarantine should be initiated on first knowledge of potential or known exposure. Students will be monitored and directed on next steps by Student Health Center
Human Resources Procedure
Student Health Center Procedure
TUC COVID Advisory Group Procedure