September 4, 2020
Question: What’s the benefit of Cedarville’s choosing to contact trace and quarantine students who may have been exposed to a symptomatic student before there’s even a COVID-19 positive test result?
“Quarantine is used to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others. Quarantine helps prevent spread of disease that can occur before a person knows they are sick or if they are infected with the virus without feeling symptoms. People in quarantine should stay home, separate themselves from others, monitor their health, and follow directions from their state or local health department.” Source
Fact Summary – Quarantine helps protect the student body as a whole by separating those who might be sick to decrease the risk of more cases. In this way, Cedarville can keep its numbers low, keep the students safe, and maintain on-campus classes.
“The delay from symptom onset to isolation had a major role in achieving control of outbreaks” in this study using the researchers model.
Fact Summary – Outbreaks are more controllable and less likely to occur when close contacts are quarantined quickly, even before their possible onset of symptoms.
“The probability of control decreases with long delays from symptom onset to isolation, fewer cases ascertained by contact tracing, and increasing transmission before symptoms.” “the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak that began in southern China in 2003, was eventually able to be controlled through tracing contacts of suspected cases and isolating confirmed cases because the majority of transmission occurred after symptom onset.” Source
Fact Summary – The campus is more likely to keep control over the spread of the virus through early quarantine of potentially exposed students.
The public health evaluation of close contacts to patients with laboratory-confirmed or probable COVID-19 may vary depending on the exposure setting. Contacts in special populations and/or congregate settings require additional considerations and may need handoff to a senior health department investigator or special team. Additional guidance on managing these contacts can be found in Outbreak Investigations. Source
Fact Summary – Each close contact and positive case will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, taking into consideration any risk factors and personal needs to best care for the individual.
Posted in: Concerning COVID