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Student Care Network

What is contact tracing?

Contact tracing is the practice of identifying and notifying all individuals that may have come into contact with someone who has suspected or confirmed COVID-19. The goal is simply to separate those who have (or may have) the virus from those who do not.

Contact tracers rapidly and sensitively reach out to those close contacts who could now be infected. They protect privacy, provide education and guide efforts to minimize exposure to the community. The CDC and Washington State Department of Health define a close contact as someone within six feet of an infected individual for at least 15 minutes. It’s important to understand that you can still transmit the virus even without showing symptoms (asymptomatic).


Resources for you

WSU Environmental Health & Safety
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
Washington State Department of Health
Whitman County Public Health
How you can help
Here are several things you can do to help your campus and community contain COVID-19:
  • Tell the truth. Your participation will save lives, so it’s important to cooperate and accurately report.
  • Answer your phone. If local health officials cannot reach you, you could spread the virus unknowingly and unnecessarily.
  • Self-quarantine as a close contact if you’re asymptomatic, even if you test negative for COVID-19.
  • Self-isolate if you’re showing symptoms and/or test positive for COVID-19.
  • Self-monitor by taking your temperature twice daily and checking for new symptoms.
  • Notify local health authorities and your medical provider if you develop symptoms.