Contact tracing protocols at Heartland universities

Contact tracing protocols at Heartland universities

CARBONDALE, Ill. (KFVS) - Southern Illinois University leaders are working with the Jackson County Health Department to contact trace for COVID-19.

“It’s a very collaborative process that’s driven by the health department,” said Rae Goldsmith, SIU Chief Marketing and Communications Officer.

As SIU students gets settled on campus, the Jackson County Health Department’s in charge of COVID-19 contact tracing for the university.

“We assist them with that process. We can provide them if it’s a student who’s enrolled in a class. If it’s an employee, we can provide a work schedule,” said Goldsmith.

According to Goldsmith, SIU officials also share any reports they receive of possible COVID-19 cases or exposure with the health department.

“They’ll work directly with the individual who’s been found to be positive, because that individual knows who he or she has been around,” she said.

Also in the Heartland, the process is similar at Southeast Missouri State University. SEMO has its own contact tracers who work with the Cape Girardeau County Public Health Center.

For those SIU students and employees worried about COVID-19 exposure, Goldsmith said if you do not hear from the health department, you’re in the clear.

“Because that means there’s no concern that he or she might have been exposed,” she said.

According to Goldsmith, the relationship with the health department plays a key role for everyone at SIU.

“It’s critically important that we are able to work with them to track cases, to support their work, because they’re actually supporting the health and safety of our campus,” said Goldsmith.

SIU students and staff can anonymously report COVID-19 cases and exposure here.

Copyright 2020 KFVS. All rights reserved.