Update to Students Regarding Isolation Processes and Receiving COVID Test Results

Jan. 13, 2022

 

TO: Undergraduate and Graduate Students

FROM: covidtests@princeton.edu

SUBJECT: Update to Isolation Processes and Receiving COVID Test Results

DATE: January 13, 2022

 

Dear undergraduate and graduate students,

We write with important updates about getting your COVID test results, what to do if you receive a positive result, and changes to isolation and contact tracing protocols.

 

TESTING RESULTS

Due to the rapid spread of the Omicron variant, we anticipate an increased number of positive test results as students return to campus. It is thus likely that your results will be available through the TigerSafe app before Global and Community Health (GCH) at UHS is able to reach you by phone to notify you that you tested positive.

To support the health and well-being of those around you, we ask that you proactively check your test results via the TigerSafe app or the web portal. Results are typically posted at least twice each day, at 9 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.

GCH will continue to prioritize notifying students when they test positive for COVID, but as we update our systems during this especially busy time, we appreciate your attention to staying on top of your results.

To ensure that GCH can reach you in a timely manner, we ask that you verify your contact information is accurate in TigerHub. Please take a moment to do the following:

  • Confirm that your phone number in TigerHub is correct.
  • For those with international phone numbers, please make sure the numbers on file are correctly formatted.
  • Make sure your voicemail is set up and the inbox isn’t full so that we can leave you a message.

IF YOU GET A POSITIVE RESULT

If you receive a positive result in the TigerSafe app or web portal, please complete the following checklist:

  • Return to your dorm (or bedroom, if you live off-campus) and stay in your room. If you have a roommate, partner, or significant other that shares a bedroom with you, ask them to stay elsewhere for a few hours until the plans for your isolation have been completed.
    • You may opt to isolate at your family home but only if you are able to arrange private transport and not use public transportation.
    • If you return home, please email the address where you will be isolating to GCH at communityhealth@princeton.edu.  
  • If you have your own sleeping space, it is possible that you will be staying in your room to isolate, rather than moving into isolation housing.
  • While you await your isolation location assignment, identify the items you would want to take with you if you are placed in isolation housing. GCH will inform you where you will be assigned to isolate. You will not be able to isolate in a local hotel.
  • If you are not contacted by GCH in 2-3 hours, please send an email to GCH with a subject line that reads “I’m isolating in my room.”
  • A negative test following a positive test does not exempt a person from isolation. Please DO NOT submit another sample, either on- or off-campus, to “double check” your results. The testing program is already reaching capacity and duplicate samples slow down the system. In addition,
  • Start refreshing your memory of those with whom you were in close contact (within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes) in the 48 hours prior to your test submission.

If you receive a positive result, you will not need to test again in the asymptomatic testing program for 90 days.

 

ISOLATION

Starting Friday, January 14, if fully vaccinated, the duration of isolation may be as short as 5 days (day 0 is the date the sample was collected).

  • Release from isolation will occur on day 6 if the individual is asymptomatic, if symptoms are resolving, and if they are fever-free for at least 24 hours. 
  • On day 6 through 10, individuals released from isolation:
    • Must wear a tight-fitting mask when around other people, including roommates. KN95 masks will be added to student isolation kits for use during days 6 through 10.  
    • May not dine with others or participate in activities that require masks to be removed. (Masks are not necessary when sleeping, showering, brushing teeth, etc.)

Vaccinated people experiencing persistent symptoms or fever will not be released on day 6. UHS will determine the date of release based on their condition. No matter when the person is released, they must wear a tight-fitting mask when around other people, including roommates, through day 10.

Unvaccinated individuals will be required to isolate for 10 days.

It is each student’s personal responsibility to follow these rules for isolation. All individuals are expected to accurately report symptoms and to wear a mask after being released from isolation. Failure to do so is a serious violation of University policies, including Rights, Rules, Responsibilities Honesty and Cooperation Policy (1.1.5) and Public Health section (1.6.4).

 

CONTACT TRACING

As the Omicron variant spreads, its shorter incubation period makes contact tracing less effective as a mitigation strategy, especially since many vaccinated people experience very mild symptoms. 

Following guidance from the CDC and the NJ Department of Health, UHS is prioritizing contact tracing for populations that are at the highest risk of transmission on campus: students and service personnel.

Given this shift, we encourage anyone who receives a positive test result to alert those they have been in close contact with in the past 2 days that they are positive for COVID.

If you have questions about the asymptomatic testing program or public health guidance in general, please contact covidtests@princeton.edu or call the COVID Connector at all 609-258-7000 M-F from 8:45 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Thank you in advance for doing your part to protect our campus community.

University Health Services