Terms & Definitions

As the College prepares to return to on campus operations for the fall 2020 semester, the College has gone to great lengths to provide a safe on campus environment for all students, faculty and staff. As part of the preparations, campus personnel have developed protocols and procedures to address a number of issues related to COVID-19—including how the College will respond in the event that a positive case is identified within the campus community. To provide clarifications, below is a list of terms and definitions related to COVID-19 that will be found in many of these protocols and procedures.

Case: An individual who has had a positive laboratory test confirming they are presently infected with COVID-19 and are capable of infecting others.

Close Contact: Refers to an individual who has been within six feet of a case for at least 15 minutes or longer.

Contact: An individual who has had close contact with a case during the case’s infectious period.

Contact Tracing: Refers to a disease control measure that is employed to prevent further spread of the virus. A contract tracer’s responsibilities include the following: immediately identify and interview individuals with confirmed or probable COVID-19 infections; support the isolation of confirmed or probable cases; notify contacts of confirmed or probable cases of their exposure, assess their level of risk and symptoms, and provide instructions for quarantining and monitoring of symptoms; assist symptomatic individuals with accessing testing and their healthcare needs; and provide ongoing resources and support as needed.

Infectious period: Period of time when a case is infectious and can spread the virus to others. With COVID-19 this typically begins two days prior to the onset of symptoms and lasts the duration of the illness.

Isolation: A means of separating an individual who has a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19 from others who are healthy. Isolation restricts the movement of the ill individual to help stop the spread of the virus. The individual is isolated through the duration of their illness.

Physical contact: Refers to an individual who has had physical contact with a case during the case’s infectious period.

Probable case: An individual who has developed symptoms consistent with COVID-19 but does not have laboratory confirmation of the illness.

Proximate Contact: Refers to an individual who was more than six feet away from a case, but in the same room as the case for an extended period of time (approximately one hour or longer).

Quarantine: A means of separating and restricting the movement of a healthy individual who may have been exposed to a confirmed or probably case. Quarantine is also used to decrease the spread of the virus. Individuals are typically quarantined for 14 days from the date of last contact with the confirmed or probable case.