COVID-19: What Should I Do If I've Been In Close Contact?

What is considered “close contact?”

Dickinson State University has adopted the following definition of close contact from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

The CDC has defined close contact as, “someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.”

Individuals who are REQUIRED to self-quarantine are those who test positive or who were notified by the Department of Health (DOH) that they are a close contact. These individuals must follow the DOH instructions they receive.

In many cases, individuals KNOW they are a close contact because of their interactions with a person who tests positive (i.e., I know was with them for more than 15 consecutive minutes within 6 feet, I know I was kissing/hugging that person, etc.).

Will students be required to attend classes remotely/online?

DSU will be offering on campus, hybrid-flex, and online instruction in fall 2020. The University will be closely monitoring the degree of community spread in the region throughout the semester in order to best respond, and maintain the safety of our campus community. A decision to transition to exclusively remote/online instruction would only be made in response to high community spread.

If portions of classes are offered online, you will not have to pay any additional fees for online courses. DSU has eliminated its previous higher online tuition rate. The tuition rate will be the same for online, hybrid, and face-to-face classes. It is based on student residency.

Will Covid testing be available and/or required?

The North Dakota University system is working to arrange testing for all students, staff, and faculty as part of our return to campus. The goal is to have testing available for North Dakota college students in Dickinson (as well as elsewhere in North Dakota) during the week or two before classes start. Based upon communications with the North Dakota University System Smart Restart Task Force, we also expect the North Dakota Department of Health to provide on campus testing the first week of classes for students who were unable to participate in the pre-class testing.

We also hope the Health Department will conduct testing on a regular basis throughout the fall semester and, perhaps, the spring semester. But testing details are still in the works.

DSU strongly encourages all students, faculty, and staff to participate in this testing. Administrative leave will be provided to employees for up to 45 minutes per test. In some circumstances of individuals who might have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus, we will expect testing.

What happens if I test positive for COVID-19?

Public health officials or your healthcare provider should let you know if you test positive, usually within 72 hours of testing. While you are waiting for your COVID-19 results after testing due to symptoms, please stay home and attend classes online.

All members of the campus community, whether living on or off-campus, are expected to inform Dickinson State University if they receive notification of a positive COVID-19 test result.

  • Employees who test positive should contact DSU Human Resources
  • Students who live on campus should notify Student Life
  • Students who live off-campus should notify the Student Health Office

I live on-campus and tested positive for COVID-19. What do I do now?

If you test positive and live in DSU campus housing, please advise Student Life by calling or texting 701-561-0560 immediately. Please stay in your room/suite and do not go to class in person or to the dining facility. DSU student life will work with you regarding your isolation plans and support needs.

You will have a ten-day isolation period until you are three days with no fever, your symptoms have improved, and it has been ten days since symptoms first appeared.

It is preferable if you are able to return to your non-DSU housing. If you are unable to do so, isolation housing will be provided to you to help minimize the risk of spreading this virus to others.

After you contact DSU will hear from a staff member who will:

  • Talk you through the next steps, including available housing option which include:
    Staying in non-DSU housing
  • Students will be encouraged to stay in or return to non-DSU housing, such as family homes, if possible.
    • If you are planning to live off campus during your isolation period, please notify housing staff to complete a modified check-out process. Please do not leave campus without notifying DSU residence life.
    • Should you choose to live off campus you may be eligible to apply for a refund of up to 14 days of housing and dining payments.
    • Eligibility for refunds will be determined by the Director of Student Life. Proper check-out, check-in, and medical documentation will be required before any refund can be processed. Any refund will be posted to your student account and may be applied to outstanding charges.
  • Staying in DSU-provided isolation housing
    • Isolation housing arrangements will be made for those students who are unable to return to non-DSU housing. [In these cases, no refunds will apply.]
    • If you chose isolation housing, DSU will work with you and support you. DSU residence life staff will talk with you about isolation expectations, recommend a packing list, and communicate items provided in your isolation unit, if applicable.
    • You will still be able to participate in the meal plan while living in DSU provided isolation housing. A DSU staff member will coordinate for meal delivery to your room.
      A DSU staff member will be checking on you every day and helping to connect you with needed services and supplies.
  • A DSU staff member will give you a list of phone numbers that could help during isolation including but not limited to: Student Life Staff, Sodexo Dining Services, Student Health Services, Mental Health services, SOAR Center Personnel, and DSU Athletics.
  • Reach out to the SOAR Center (kayla.noah@dickinsonstate.edu) to let them know you will not be attending class in person due to health reasons.

I live off-campus and tested positive for COVID-19. What do I do now?

If you test positive and live off-campus, please advise Student Health by calling or texting 701-401-5088. Please do NOT come to campus. You should attend classes online.

You will have a ten-day isolation period until you are three days with no fever, your symptoms have improved, and it has been ten days since symptoms first appeared. You are encouraged to self-isolate at home to minimize the risk of spreading this virus to others. After you contact DSU will hear from a staff member who will:

  • Visit with you about your needs for self-isolation and review isolation expectations.
  • Give you a list of phone numbers that could help during isolation including but not limited to: Student Life Staff, Sodexo Dining Services, Student Health Services, Mental Health services, SOAR Center Personnel, and DSU Athletics.
  • Reach out to the SOAR Center (kayla.noah@dickinsonstate.edu) to let them know you will not be attending class due to health reasons.

When can I return to campus and be released from isolation?

You will have a ten-day isolation period until you provide evidence that you are three days with no fever, your symptoms have improved, and it has been at least ten days since symptoms first appeared. Examples of sufficient evidence include a clearance from a medical provider, or the daily tracking log as managed by DSU Student Life or Student Health.

Please do not return to regular campus activities until a member of Student Life or Student Health has cleared you to do so.

Who will be doing contact tracing notifications?

Individuals who test positive will be contacted by a public health official for contact tracing.
The public health official will presumably work to help you recall everyone you have had close contact with, starting from 48 hours before you began feeling sick until the time you were isolated. If you have not had symptoms even though you tested positive, you presumably will be asked to identify close contacts for the last 48 hours.

The public health official presumably will warn these contacts by phone or email of their potential exposure to a positive individual.

To protect your privacy, those contacted presumably will only be informed they may have been exposed to an individual with the infection. They should not be told the identity of the individual who may have exposed them.