Positive Cases and Quarantine

Positive Case Protocol

Positive case faq

1. Notification Process Begins

  • 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; an employee’s supervisor/department head and HR representative are notified for operational continuity planning.
  • Students are notified by Health Services clinician who gives isolation instruction and collects close contacts; a student’s faculty, department head, dean and Student Affairs are notified for academic continuity planning.

2. Positive Case Isolates

  • Employees must remain at home but may request a Paid Special Leave for up to 10 business days to care for themselves, and then use regular sick time. If asymptomatic, they can end isolation 10 days from the date of a positive test. If they are, or become, symptomatic, they must isolate until fever free for 24 hours without medication, symptoms have improved and it has been 10 days since symptoms started.
  • 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. Students must isolate for up to 10 days if asymptomatic. If they are, or become, symptomatic, they must isolate until fever free for 24 hours without medication, symptoms have improved and it has been 10 days since symptoms started. Regular check-ins from Health Services and CAPS occur and meals are delivered.

isolation housing

Expanded Leave Benefits

3. Contact Tracing Begins

  • A contact tracer from RISD reaches out to RISD-affiliated close contacts and without disclosing the name of the patient, informs them they have been exposed to a positive case and that they must quarantine.
  • Note, ONLY close contacts should be notified and quarantine. 

4. Exposure Settings Disinfected

  • Exposure settings, such as classrooms and any shared spaces, are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected by custodial staff immediately.

Contact Tracing and Quarantine

Close Contact Definition

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 — 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 with the infected personPer CDC and DOH guidelines, only close contacts are required to quarantine.

Contact Tracing Program

  • RISD has 13 contact tracers who are in an “on-call” rotation. All of these staff have completed a “COVID-19 Contact Tracing” training program by Johns Hopkins University.
  • When a community member tests positive for COVID-19, a clinician interviews the patient to determine their close contacts.
  • A contact tracer from RISD then reaches out to RISD close contacts and without disclosing the name of the patient, informs them they have been exposed to a positive case and provides instruction and education about quarantine.
  • Faculty, department heads and deans are notified when a student must quarantine. Supervisors/department heads and HR partners are notified when an employee must quarantine.

Close Contact Quarantine

  • Employees may quarantine for seven days with proof of a negative test taken on day five acquired through a PCP or a state testing facility. Otherwise, employees must quarantine for 10 full days. They may upload results via a secure Dropbox link (sign-in using RISD credentials required).
  • Students may quarantine for seven days with proof of a negative test taken on day five administered by RISD. Otherwise, students must quarantine for 10 full days. Students who become symptomatic or test positive during quarantine are moved to isolation.

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