Self-Quarantine, Self-Isolation, Contract Tracing

A person who is positive for COVID-19 is required to self-isolate for at least 10 days. A medical health practitioner will be assigned to each student who has tested positive to assist with managing their care. The self-isolation period of 10 days begins at the date the test was taken.

A person who has been verified by a contact tracer to have been in close contact with a person who has tested positive for the virus is required to self-quarantine for 10 days. The quarantine period begins at the last known point of contact. In addition, those students coming from a state identified in the City of Chicago’s Emergency Travel Order and those traveling internationally are also required to self-quarantine as per university policy.

Contact tracers will work with those who test positive to identify their close contacts. Close contact is defined as being within six feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period (individual exposures added together over a 24-hour period) starting from two days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, two days prior to test specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated. Contact tracing begins when a person receives a positive COVID-19 test result. This means that a university official will work with the person who tested positive to identify people they may have come into close contact with.

Illinois Tech has set up a dedicated Contact Tracing Hotline for students to call to report a positive test result or possible close contact. The hotline number is 872.216.7440, and the email is Students, faculty, or staff members who receive a positive test or believe they may be a close contact and have not heard from a university official should call the hotline. A contact tracer is on call 24 hours each day.

Not all accommodations are appropriate for self-quarantine/self-isolation. An appropriate accommodation must have a private bathroom and kitchen space (i.e., refrigerator and microwave/stove). The university has secured space in two hotels near campus to assist students who live on campus with accommodations for self-quarantine if necessary. A student who currently lives on campus and needs accommodations for self-isolation will be able to stay on campus or may return home if appropriate. Self-isolation spaces are reserved in the residence halls.

When a student enters self-quarantine, they will be given information about their hotel assignment. When a student enters self-isolation, they are assigned a space in one of the reserved residence hall spaces. A team member in the Office of Residence Life will work directly with the student who needs to self-isolate to ensure that their self-isolation space is appropriate for the individual; this may, in the right circumstances, include facilitating the student’s ability to go home. The student will also receive information about how to arrange meal delivery and self-quarantine or self-isolation guidelines and expectations, which includes a phone number for a professional staff member who serves in a 24-hour on call rotation.

Meal options will be offered through a voucher program at the hotel.

The university using CDC definitions of these terms. “Self-isolation” separates infected individuals from people who are not infected. “Self-quarantine” separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to COVID or otherwise might be infected, to see if they become ill and prevent spread.