Novel coronavirus information

August 18, 2021

FAQ: What happens when a UW student with in-person classes tests positive for COVID-19?

As we prepare for in-person instruction this autumn, we’re highlighting some of the questions and answers in the COVID-19 frequently asked questions of greatest interest to the community.

If you were in a classroom, lab, office or other University location where a COVID-19-positive person spent at least 10 minutes during their infectious period, even if you were not a close contact of that person, you will be notified of your potential exposure and receive guidance to help prevent spread.

EH&S will notify instructors directly if a student in their in-person class has a suspected or confirmed case, and provide them with a notification to send to all other students who attended the class. The notification includes information about the date of the potential exposure, as well as guidance on how to watch for symptoms and quarantine, if necessary.

Only those who have been in close contact with a COVID-19-positive individual may need to quarantine. And in most cases, fully vaccinated people who are not experiencing symptoms do not need to quarantine following an exposure.

While in quarantine and isolating, students must not attend class. Instructors and students are both encouraged to communicate needs for accommodations and questions or concerns regarding their ability to fulfill the class’s academic requirements.

UW staff will receive a similar notification about potential exposures in the workplace.

If you are not directly contacted by a contact tracer, that means you were not identified as a close contact.

Learn more about how contact tracing works at the UW.