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Positive COVID-19 test outside of IU? Let the university know

  • Coronavirus COVID-19 computer generated image.
    Moment RF

While IU continues to offer both symptomatic and asymptomatic COVID-19 testing options to all faculty, staff and students on campus, you may find yourself needing to get tested at another community location, at your physician’s office or with an at-home testing kit. All of these testing options can provide crucial information about your current health status and whether you have COVID-19.

So, what happens if your test from one of these other testing sites comes back positive?

When you’ve tested through IU, any positive test result automatically triggers action from the university’s team of contact tracers. You receive an email with information, and then a contact tracer personally calls to get more information about your recent activities and anyone who may be considered a close contact.

When you test positive at a community testing site, for example, you will need to report that positive test to IU. This notifies IU’s contact tracing team to reach out and make sure you have the proper instructions for isolation and symptom monitoring, as well as an official notice to end your isolation. Without individuals reporting their positive tests, IU’s contact tracers have no way of knowing you’ve tested positive, nor will they be able to help.

The same is true for those identified as a close contact of someone who tests positive outside of IU. A common example is if your partner or child tests positive for COVID-19. Your family member most likely was tested outside of IU and received the test result from that site. In the vast majority of cases, if someone in your household tests positive for COVID-19, you are considered a close contact.

In order for IU’s contact tracing team to provide you with guidance for quarantine, testing and symptom monitoring, let IU know that you are a close contact of someone outside of IU who tested positive for COVID-19. You do not need to self-report as a close contact if the positive individual is within the IU community. Contact tracers are trained on the nuances of the CDC’s definition of a close contact, which are best identified through the interview with the person who tested positive.

The COVID-19 self-reporting form, along with many other COVID-19 resources, is available on iu.edu/covid or One.IU.

Amanda Roach is a senior communications consultant in the Office of the Vice President for Communications and Marketing.