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Contact tracing resources

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Contact Tracing Overview:


The purpose of these guidelines is to outline the minimum steps that would be needed to be taken if a COVID-19 infection were to occur in the workplace and to provide an overview of how contact tracing could be performed . While regional health agencies may perform contact tracing once informed of an individual's positive COVID-19 status, the Art Services Worker Safety Coalition (ASWSC) believes that it is in the best interest of our industry and community to approach these situations proactively. Given the unique nature of the arts industry, the reliance on relationships between institutions, vendors, and subcontractors, and the potential for the virus to spread quickly, information should be  shared openly and swiftly.

To this end, the ASWSC has created a basic guideline that is intended to be used as a minimum response to a COVID-19 infection in the workplace and in conjunction with larger efforts by regional health agencies or organizations. 

  • Contact tracing should be conducted for anyone who was in close contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19

  • “Close contact” is defined by the CDC as someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to test specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.​ 

  • All contact tracing interviews should be done remotely when possible and not  in-person 

  • Following contact tracing efforts, all “close contacts” should be advised to seek testing for COVID-19 as soon as possible, and they should self-quarantine for the minimum amount of time recommended in the ASWSC Outbreak Protocols Document.





Contact Tracing Guidelines:


  1. If employee shows symptoms, but has not been tested, they should not report to work, they should be advised to self-isolate at home and seek testing for COVID-19

  2. Symptomatic employee should be interviewed by phone (not in person) as soon as possible by designated contact tracers (ideally HR) to identify any close contacts in the workplace.

  3. Those determined to have had close contact with symptomatic employee should be notified as soon as possible that they have been exposed to someone who may have COVID-19. They should be and advised to go home to self-quarantine, and monitor their health for symptoms and fever. They should be informed that the symptomatic employee will be getting tested for COVID-19  and more information will follow as soon as it is available.

  4. If symptomatic employee tests positive for COVID-19, the results of the initial contact tracing should be used to inform all close contacts, and all close contacts should be advised to self-quarantine at home for 14 days from the last day of exposure, and monitor their health for symptoms and fever.

  5. If symptomatic employee tests negative for COVID-19, the employer may consider bringing employee and close contacts back to work once symptoms are absent, or retest sick employees if symptoms are strongly suggestive of COVID-19, as there is always a risk of a false-negative result when testing.

  6. Any sick employee should continue to  self-isolate at home until at least 10 days have passed since symptom onset, and absence of fever for 24 hours without fever reducing medications, and symptoms have improved. Employees should always contact their employer before returning to work and get explicit permission to return to the workplace. Follow the recommendations of the Art Services Worker Safety Coalition’s Outbreak Protocols.


Contact Tracing: FAQ’s


  • Who performs contact tracing? 

    • Generally, it should be an internal resource, such as an employer’s HR representative. It is important that the person or persons performing the contact tracing have good communication skills, and are trained and aware of the process in detail.

  • When is contact tracing performed?

    • When any person in the workplace presents any symptoms suggestive of COVID-19, or has had known contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19. It is not necessary to wait for a positive test result. It is important to inform people who may have been exposed as soon as possible.

  • What constitutes exposure? 

    • Exposure is defined as close contact. CDC guidelines define close contact as spending 15 minutes within six feet of an infected person, up to 48 hours before the onset of symptoms. Depending on the situation, there may be cause to consider individuals not in close contact as potentially exposed. 

  • What information is relayed during contact tracing? 

    • Those affected should be informed that they may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19.

    • The identity of the infected individual should never be disclosed. 

    • Close contacts should begin quarantine immediately, contact a healthcare professional, and seek testing (if advised to do so by a healthcare professional).

    •  Testing will be most effective (i.e. less likely to return false negative results)  5-8 days after exposure. If the person being contacted develops symptoms or tests positive, further contact tracing should be done to identify their close contacts.

  • How long should a close contact quarantine? 

Contact Tracing Resources:


Contact Tracing Overview


Other Examples of  Contact Tracing forms:


CDC Glossary of Key Terms


Examples of Contact Tracing Plans:



Digital Contact Tracing Tools (CDC)

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