UToledo Expands COVID-19 Testing to Include Close Contacts

October 15, 2020 | COVID-19, News, UToday
By Tyrel Linkhorn

The University of Toledo is expanding its COVID-19 testing to include students, faculty and staff studying or working on campus who have had close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case, following updated guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Students and employees who are identified through contact tracing as having experienced a potential exposure will be notified by the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department and referred to The University of Toledo Medical Center for a test.

Close contact testing through UTMC is reserved for faculty, staff and students who are physically on campus. Those who are exclusively working or studying remotely will not be referred for testing. Determinations of what constitutes a close contact and who should be tested are made by the health department. Generally, the CDC defines close contact as being within 6 feet of an infected individual for at least 15 minutes. However, it depends on the exposure level and setting.

Testing close contacts provides the University another tool to monitor the prevalence of COVID-19 on campus and reduce the disease’s potential to spread. Participation, while voluntary, is strongly encouraged.

The University continues to require individuals who have potentially been exposed to the virus through close contact to complete the CDC-recommended 14-day quarantine. A negative test result following a potential exposure would not eliminate the need to quarantine.

For more information on quarantine and isolation guidelines and available resources, visit the University’s coronavirus website.

The University continues to conduct weekly surveillance testing of asymptomatic individuals. Through the first eight weeks of the semester, only 1.3% of those tested through the University’s COVID-19 surveillance program have tested positive.

The University also has testing available for employees and students who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 through UTMC at both Main Campus and Health Science Campus. Students and employees who suspect they may have COVID-19 can call 419.383.4545 to schedule a test.

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