Case management is the comprehensive process of coordinating and assisting UNCG students, faculty, and staff who are impacted by COVID-19. This includes those who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, tested positive for COVID-19, or have been identified as a close contact of someone who tested positive. The Student Health Services team leads the effort in managing the case management process, with support from various other university departments that make up the Case Management Team.
In order to effectively manage COVID-19 cases, the University has developed a comprehensive case management system that helps facilitate the case management process. Students, faculty, and staff who enter into our case management process will likely receive automatic emails from our system with the sender address email@example.com. If you receive an email from this email address it is legitimate and originated from our case management system.
The Case Management Team receives case information from various sources in order to begin the case management process. These sources include self-reports, supervisor reports, Student Health Service information, on-campus surveillance testing results, and information provided by Guilford County Public Health.
The self-report tool is the most important tool we have to initiate a case. It is extremely important that all students, faculty, and staff submit a self-report if they develop symptoms, test positive, or learn they are a close contact of someone who tested positive. A self-report allows the case management team to gather all the needed information to start a case in the most timely and efficient manner. If you are unsure if you need to submit a self-report, go ahead and do so. The case management team will review your information and will provide you with follow-up information. Faculty should encourage students who disclose to them of their positive test, COVID-19 symptoms, or who think they are a close contact of someone who tested positive to submit a self-report. Faculty should not submit a self-report or a supervisor report on behalf of students.
Contact tracing is conducted when an individual (student or employee) has tested positive for COVID-19 and may have been on campus during their infectious period. The Case Management Team will conduct an interview with that positive case to determine if others may have been close contacts of the individual (within 6 ft of the individual for 15 minutes or longer over a 24 hours period). With that knowledge, the University will talk with close contacts to determine whether they need to quarantine. Other measures, such as intensified cleaning of potentially affected areas, will also be initiated.
UNCG conducts contact tracing to identify and notify close contacts within the UNCG community and also shares this information with Guilford County Public Health. Individuals who test positive will also be contacted by Guilford County Public Health for a more comprehensive case investigation interview to identify those in the larger community who may have been exposed.
Once the Case Management Team learns of a positive case, they will conduct a positive case interview with the person who tested positive. The positive case interview is a top priority of the Case Management Team and is conducted as soon as feasibly possible via telephone. During the positive case interview, the contact tracer works with the positive case to identify their symptomatic period and identify their close contacts during that period. During this conversation, the contact tracer also provides the person with information on the isolation process and works through any questions or concerns the person may have.
Close contact is defined as someone who was within 6 feet for a total of 15 minutes or more within 2 days prior to illness onset, regardless of whether the contact was wearing a mask. In the positive case interview, close contacts are identified by the contact tracer working with the positive case; basically walking them through each day and activity during their infection period to learn who they were around. If the positive case is a student, we identify which on-campus classes they attended during their infection period.
Those who are identified as close contacts are notified by the Case Management Team and asked to undergo the quarantine process unless they are fully vaccinated. If the close contact is fully vaccinated, they do not have to quarantine. See the quarantine and Isolation section for more information.
Classroom Contact Tracing
When the Case Management Team conducts a positive case interview for a student who has tested positive for COVID-19 the contact tracer works with the student to identify if they attended any in-person classes during their infectious period. If the student did attend a class during their infectious period, the contact tracer documents which class it was and the date(s) they attended. Class information is then sent to the Case Management Team who reaches out to the instructor of record for the class to ask for the class seating chart and the attendance for the day(s) the student was present.
Once the Case Management Team receives the seating chart and attendance from the instructor, the Case Management Team will determine which students in the class are deemed a close contact. Once the classroom close contact identification process has been completed, the Case Management Team will send a follow-up email to the instructor informing them of the number of close contacts identified in the class. The instructor is not required to take any action as the Case Management Team will do so.
The classroom contact tracing process is only as good as the information provided by the instructor. The more detail and accuracy included in the seating chart and attendance, the more successful the Case Management Team will be in identifying close contacts.
If close contacts are identified in a class, the Case Management Team will conduct the close contact notification process to include providing the student with quarantine instructions. Students who are placed in quarantine through this process are instructed to notify their instructor of their upcoming absence from class.
Quarantine and Isolation
Quarantine and isolation are used to prevent individuals who have the virus or who have been exposed to the virus from spreading it to others. Quarantine keeps someone who was in close contact with a person who has tested positive with COVID-19 away from others. Isolation keeps someone who has symptoms and/or has tested positive (with or without symptoms) away from others, even others in their home. For more information about quarantine and isolation, view the UNCG Quarantine and Isolation guidelines.
Residential students may quarantine or isolate on- or off-campus. UNCG has 81 on-campus rooms appropriate for isolation or quarantine as needed.
The available rooms and usage percentage are tracked on our COVID-19 Dashboard. These rooms are single rooms with a private bath. We support these students by delivering food and other supplies, checking on them frequently, and monitoring their symptoms.
Case Clearance and Return to Campus
Clearance to return to on-campus activities must come from the Case Management Team. When a student, faculty, or staff member is officially cleared from isolation or quarantine, they receive an email from the case management system stating they can return back to on-campus classes, work, and activities. Instructors can ask the student for a copy of the clearance email, and likewise, supervisors can ask their employee for a copy of the email. Instructors should not request a physician note on students’ ability to return to class.
Clearance from Quarantine
If you complete the 10-day quarantine period without developing symptoms, you will automatically be released from quarantine. An automatic email will be generated stating you can return to on-campus classes, work, and activities the day following your final day of quarantine.
Note: If you are identified as a close contact and you are fully vaccinated and symptom-free, you do not have to quarantine. If your vaccination status is confirmed by the case management team, you will receive an email stating you do not have to quarantine along with additional instructions for testing.
Clearance from Isolation if you tested positive
If you tested positive for COVID-19, as you approach the end of your isolation period, a representative from the Case Management Team will contact you regarding your release from isolation. To be released from isolation, you need to complete the full 10 days of isolation, have been fever-free for the past 24 hours without taking fever-reducing medications, and if you had other symptoms, they need to have improved. Once these factors are verified by the Case Management Team, you will be released from isolation.
Clearance from Isolation if you have/had symptoms but don’t get tested
If you develop COVID-19 symptoms and you do not get tested, the clearance process is the same as if you tested positive for COVID-19.
Clearance from Isolation if you had symptoms and tested negative
If you have COVID-19 symptoms but test negative, you will need to submit your negative test result to the Case Management Team through a follow-up self-report. Once we receive your negative test result you will be cleared from COVID-19 isolation. If you are still experiencing symptoms you should treat this as any other illness and not return to work until you are well enough to do so.