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July 16, 2020: Leaving Contact Tracing to Professionals

Message from ESU Fall Planning Group

July 16, 2020

Dear ESU Faculty, Staff + Students,

As we come back to work on campus and in the classroom, we will start to become more aware when people connected with our campus community are affected by COVID-19, either by learning of a positive test result or a potential contact.

When this happens within our own department, connected to our department or our classroom, it is instinctive to spring into action to keep others safe. This, however, can create undue alarm where perhaps no action is even necessary.

When these situations occur, the best action you can take is to consult either Ray Lauber in Human Resources ( or Mary McDaniel Anschutz in Student Wellness (

When a person tests positive for COVID-19, public health officials will do a case investigation, and from that investigation determine who exactly is a “close contact.” Those determined to be a close contact will be notified by public health and provided direction as to what they do next.

This is a standardized process and is the responsibility of public health officials and their authorized partners who are trained in the process and in privacy laws. It should NOT be attempted or initiated by any other entity.

Please remember that all members of our campus community fall under privacy guidelines of FERPA, HIPAA, ADA or state and federal employment laws, rules and regulations. Because of this, it is imperative to let public health officials conduct investigations and to manage all notifications.

We will share additional information and frequently asked questions about what to do or how to respond in various COVID-19 scenarios including specific steps we all can take in the future.


ESU Fall Planning Group