Contact Tracing

Bucknell is coordinating its own contact-tracing program to notify members of the campus community (students and employees) who have been in close contact with people with confirmed cases of COVID-19 and to monitor exposure to COVID-19 on campus.

If you have been in contact with someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19, a member of the Contact Tracing Team will call you and provide instructions. You will also be contacted if you have a positive result on a COVID-19 test or have symptoms. This call could come from a number you don't recognize. It is important that you answer calls to your phone and comply with the instructions that the contact tracers provide.

Bucknell's contact-tracing program will not extend beyond the campus community and will not contact those who are not University students or employees.

Contact-Tracing Process

  1. The Contact Tracing Team is notified of a positive test, either by the Bucknell community member who was tested, a testing service authorized to release results or the state health department.
  2. The Contact Tracing Team contacts the Bucknell students and/or employees who tested positive and makes sure they are receiving the appropriate care and, importantly, are isolating.
  3. The Contact Tracing Team interviews the Bucknell students and/or employees to determine with whom on campus they may have come into close contact. In this context, "close contact" is defined as being within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes (regardless of face covering) during the two days prior to taking a test with a positive result or the onset of symptoms.
  4. Based on this information, the team will contact potentially exposed Bucknell students and/or employees to notify and instruct them on next steps as appropriate.

If You Test Positive or Have Symptoms of COVID-19

You will be called by a member of the Contact Tracing Team soon after receiving a positive test result for COVID-19, or if you report symptoms consistent with COVID. Depending on the time of your test result, this call could come the following day.

Reporting exposure or symptoms

You will be asked to share the names of anyone at Bucknell with whom you had close contact beginning two days prior to the date of your positive test or two days before you began to experience symptoms.

Close contact is defined as being:

  • Within 6 feet, 15 minutes or more (regardless of face covering)
    or
  • Having personal contact

The Contact Tracing Team will also have access to GPS data collected from the Herd Health app as well as Wi-Fi connectivity point data from the campus network. Contact tracers may contact additional individuals based on this data. This data will be accessed only for contact-tracing purposes. Bucknell contact-tracing efforts will maintain privacy and confidentiality.

If You May Have Been Exposed to Someone With COVID-19

If you have been in contact with someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19, a member of the Contact Tracing Team will call you and provide instructions. This call could come from a number you don't recognize. It is important that you answer calls to your phone and comply with the instructions that the contact tracers provide. Depending on your exposure, you could be instructed to quarantine and not come to campus for 14 days.

Reporting exposure or symptoms

Other Health Authorities

Bucknell's contact-tracing program will not extend beyond the campus community and will not contact those who are not University students or employees. You may also be contacted by other health authorities (such as the Pennsylvania Department of Health) for contact-tracing purposes. Please answer these calls and comply with all instructions.

Volunteer to Be a Contact Tracer

Contact tracing will be conducted by Bucknell employees who have been trained to perform these duties. Casual employees may also be hired to support the contact-tracing effort. If you are interested in serving as a contact tracer, please email contact-tracing@bucknell.edu.

Additional Quarantine, Isolation and Contact-Tracing Information

The cover of the Faculty Staff Guide to Student Quarantine, Student Isolation and Contact Tracing

The Faculty/Staff Guide to Student Quarantine, Student Isolation & Campus Contact Tracing outlines what students must do if they test positive for or may have been exposed to COVID-19 so that faculty and staff are prepared to meet their needs. The University's contact-tracing program, academic concerns and what faculty and staff should do if they may have been exposed are also covered in detail. 

Read the guide