Positive Cases and Contact Tracing

Positive Cases

  • Notification

    Students are notified of a positive test result by Health Services (HS) who gives isolation instruction and collects close contacts; HS notifies the student’s faculty, department head, techs, department coordinators and all close contacts.

    Employees are notified by Employee Health Coordinator (EHC) Karen Chase or employee discloses to RISD an offsite positive result; EHC gives isolation instruction and collects close contacts; EHC notifies supervisor/department head, HR Partner and all close contacts.

  • Isolation

    Any individual (vaccinated or unvaccinated) who tests positive for COVID-19 must isolate until fever free for 24 hours without medication, symptoms have improved and it has been ten days from when symptoms first began. If the individual who tests positive is asymptomatic, isolation ends when it has been ten days from their positive test.

    Students are escorted to isolation housing by Public Safety in 15 West. Off-campus students are strongly encouraged to isolate on campus or are provided instruction for their off-campus residence. Regular check-ins from Health Services and CAPS occur and meals are delivered.

    Students who test positive will not have access to Brown facilities or be able to attend any Brown classes in person for 10 days.

    Employees are required to isolate at home. Employees may request Paid Special Leave for up to 10 business days to care for themselves, and then use regular sick time.

  • Allowance

    Starting in Wintersession, RISD may make allowances for symptomatic vaccinated students with a negative antigen test to isolate in place while awaiting PCR test results. While isolating in their regular room assignment, they must wear a face covering and only leave the room for grab-and-go meals (if unable to obtain meals another way) and restroom use.

    Such allowances will be considered on a case-by-case basis, and vaccine-exempt students who are symptomatic will still be required to isolate in isolation housing while awaiting PCR test results.

Contact Tracing

  • Close Contacts

    A close contact is defined as someone who has had one of the following interactions with the infected person, starting two days before illness onset until the time the patient is isolated or, for asymptomatic clients, starting two days prior to positive specimen collection (per CDC and DOH guidelines, only close contacts are required to quarantine):

    - was within six feet of an infected person (masked or unmasked) for a total 15 minutes or more—so shorter but repeated contacts that add up to 15 minutes over a 24-hour period
    - had direct contact with infectious secretions of a person with COVID-19 such as being coughed on
    - is living with or sharing a bathroom (masked or unmasked) with the infected person.

  • Quarantine

    Non-vaccinated close contacts must quarantine for ten days following an exposure to someone with confirmed COVID-19. They may test five days after exposure and be released from quarantine on day seven upon receipt of a negative test result.

    Fully vaccinated close contacts who do not have symptoms do not have to quarantine, but must be tested five to seven days after exposure and wear a face covering in public settings (required by RISD regardless). If the test is positive, they must isolate for ten days from the positive test result.

    Close contacts protocol at Brown is the same as RISD for both vaccinated and unvaccinated students.

Frequently Asked Questions

RISD finds out about positive cases in one of two ways: daily reports from the Broad Institute for all on campus test results, or a self report from an employee or student who tests positive at an off-campus testing site.

Notification

Students are notified of a positive test result by Health Services (HS) who gives isolation instruction and collects close contacts; HS notifies the student’s faculty, department head, dean, GPD if applicable and all close contacts.

Employees are notified by Employee Health Coordinator (EHC) Karen Chase or employee discloses to RISD an offsite positive result; EHC gives isolation instruction and collects close contacts; EHC notifies supervisor /department head, HR Partner and all close contacts.

Isolation
Any individual (vaccinated or unvaccinated) who tests positive for COVID-19 must isolate until fever free for 24 hours without medication, symptoms have improved and it has been ten days since symptoms started. If asymptomatic, isolation ends ten days after the positive test result.

Fully vaccinated individuals who test positive for COVID-19 and are asymptomatic are still required to isolate for ten days from the positive test result.

Students are escorted to isolation housing by Public Safety in 15 West. Off-campus students are strongly encouraged to isolate on campus or are provided instruction for their off-campus residence. Regular check-ins from Health Services and CAPS occur and meals are delivered.

Employees are required to isolate at home. Employees may request Paid Special Leave for up to 10 business days to care for themselves, and then use regular sick time.

Individuals who test positive for COVID-19, are fully vaccinated and are asymptomatic are required to isolate for ten days from the time of the positive test result. Individuals who are symptomatic must isolate until fever free for 24 hours without medication, symptoms have improved and it has been 10 days since symptoms started.

Yes, symptomatic individuals must isolate while awaiting PCR test results. RISD provides separate individual isolation housing for students for the duration of the isolation period.

Starting in Wintersession, RISD may make allowances for symptomatic vaccinated students with a negative antigen test to isolate in place while awaiting PCR test results. While isolating in their regular room assignment, they must wear a face covering and only leave the room for grab-and-go meals (if unable to obtain meals another way) and restroom use.

Such allowances will be considered on a case-by-case basis, and vaccine-exempt students who are symptomatic will still be required to isolate in isolation housing while awaiting PCR test results.

A close contact is defined as someone who has had one of the following interactions with the infected person starting from two days before the illness onset (or, for asymptomatic clients, two days prior to a positive specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated:

  • was within six feet of an infected person for a total 15 minutes or more — including shorter but repeated contacts that add up to 15 minutes over a 24-hour period
  • had direct contact with infectious secretions of a person with COVID-19 such as being coughed on
  • is living with the infected person

Per CDC and DOH guidelines, only unvaccinated close contacts are required to quarantine. Vaccinated individuals must complete follow-up testing three to five days after exposure, wear a face covering indoors (required by RISD regardless) and monitor symptoms for 14 days but can continue normal activities.

No. The CDC does not require vaccinated people to quarantine if they come in contact with someone who is positive, but they must complete follow-up testing three to five days after exposure, wear a face covering indoors (required by RISD regardless) and monitor for symptoms for 14 days. If they test positive for COVID-19, then they must follow isolation protocol.

Yes. Contact tracers from RISD will continue to contact RISD-affiliated close contacts regardless of the vaccination or symptom status of the positive case. The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) also completes contact tracing for RISD community members, so close contacts may hear from both parties. RISD protocol and requirements always take precedence over RIDOH guidance for RISD community members.

If an employee tests positive for COVID-19 at an off-campus testing site, they must let their manager know, who in turn must let their Cabinet member and HR know.

CDC and DOH guidelines mandate that unvaccinated individuals who meet the definition of close contacts quarantine for 10 days (they may test on day five and end quarantine on day seven if the test is negative). Vaccinated individuals should test on day five, wear a face covering indoors (required by RISD regardless), and monitor for symptoms.

A close contact is defined as someone who has had one of the following interactions with the infected person starting from two days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic clients, two days prior to positive specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated:

  • was within six feet of an infected person for a total 15 minutes or more — including shorter but repeated contacts that add up to 15 minutes over a 24-hour period
  • had direct contact with infectious secretions of a person with COVID-19 such as being coughed on
  • is living with the infected person

The dashboard is updated daily Monday–Friday with laboratory-verified results and there is a 48-hour delay of the data to allow notification of positive cases and contact tracing to occur.