Contact Tracing is a critical tool for controlling and reducing the spread of viruses. It has been used for decades by state and local health departments to slow or stop the spread of infectious disease.

What is a contact?

The CDC defines a close contact as someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to positive specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.

For students, a contact could be roommates, housemates, intimate partners - anyone who has been in contact within 6 feet for at least 15 minutes. It could also be someone with whom they shared personal items such as a cup, lip balm, or a vape.

How does contact tracing work? What are the steps?