COVID-19 Positive Case Notification Protocol for Students


University of Arizona students who participate in on-campus activities are required to self-report positive COVID-19 tests and participate in contact tracing. See the protocol below for how to report a positive case. Employees should refer to the COVID-19 Workplace Case Notification Protocol.

Required Student Actions

My positive COVID-19 test was performed ON campus:

  1. Complete the SAFER notification form to initiate the contact tracing process.

  2. Follow CDC guidance for isolation

  3. Please answer the phone when contact tracers (SAFER) call to complete a case investigation interview. They will attempt to contact you within 48-72 hours of your positive test result. 

My positive COVID-19 test was performed OFF campus:

  1. Upload your positive test result to the secure, HIPAA compliant Campus Health system. 

  2. Complete the SAFER notification form to initiate the contact tracing process.

  3. Follow CDC guidance for isolation

  4. Please answer the phone when contact tracers (SAFER) call to complete a case investigation interview. They will attempt to contact you within 48-72 hours of your positive test result. 


Once a positive test is reported to SAFER (the University’s contact tracing team), they will attempt to reach out to you for case investigation and contact tracing, education on self-isolation, and to connect you with any wrap-around health support services you may need. Please answer the questions posed by the SAFER team honestly and as accurately as possible. They are working under the Pima County Health Department and following Arizona Department of Health Services guidelines and procedures.

If it has been more than 72 hours since you have received your positive test (or since you self-reported a positive test) and you have not heard from the SAFER team, please send an email to Full voicemail boxes, mistyped phone numbers, and screening unknown callers can impede the team’s ability to reach you and they are here to help! 

Required Instructor or Supervisor Actions

UArizona instructors or supervisor who know of a student who has recently tested positive for COVID-19 must:


Failure of students to follow safety and health requirements, including mandatory reporting of a positive COVID-19 test to Campus Health, may result in disciplinary action consistent with the Student Code of Conduct and applicable policies. Reports of student non-compliance should be made to the Dean of Students Office.


We recognize the exceptional circumstances presented by the COVID-19 pandemic require a careful balance between maintaining a safe campus and protecting a student’s privacy.

A student’s medical information, including a positive COVID-19 test result, will be treated as confidential and private and will only be disclosed to University personnel responsible for the public health of our campuses. Positive test results are only shared on a need to know basis, in the least intrusive manner possible.

Additionally, University personnel responsible for managing confidential student health information are required to complete COVID-19 specific FERPA and HIPAA training.

COVID-19 in UArizona Class Settings

There are many symptoms of COVID-19, and almost all COVID-19 symptoms are also possible indicators of other diseases (e.g., influenza). As a result, many symptomatic individuals who are tested for COVID-19 do not receive a positive result. Accordingly, no individual should be assumed to be infected with COVID-19 on the basis of apparent symptoms. 

We also recognize that it is likely that more students than usual may have to spend time away from in-person learning settings during the pandemic. Please refer to the University’s updated Class Absence Practices. As a reminder, students do not need to share any health information with instructors or staff.

Contact Tracing Protocols 

  • After receiving notification of a positive student case, SAFER will initiate our campus contact tracing protocol and seek to alert all recent close contacts reported by the infected individual (6’ or less for 15 mins or more) that may have been exposed.
  • If a student who has tested positive attended an in-person class or activity, students and instructors in that same in-person class or activity will only be contacted by SAFER if they had close contact with the student who tested positive or if there is reason to believe that there is classroom transmission. Note that instructors may not change their class modality in response to a student's self-report of a positive test result.
  • If public health authorities determine that a classroom case cluster meets the criteria for consideration of a modality switch, the Provost will contact the Department Head and faculty instructor to discuss temporary adjustments to the class modality. 
  • If cases are identified as a potential classroom transmission incident, a SAFER team member may contact the instructor for more information. In most cases, instructors will not be told who tested positive but will be told how many students tested positive and that classroom transmission may have occurred. Instructors may be told the identity of the case to determine where students sit in relation to each other during the course, if this information cannot be accurately obtained from the student(s).
  • Identifiable information about a student may be used for limited and specific purposes, including: to conduct a case investigation using protocols established by the Pima County Health Department (PCHD) and the Arizona Department of Health Services, and to contact an instructor to support a case investigation. If PCHD/SAFER determines there is a significant outbreak associated with a classroom setting, the students and instructor in that course will be notified by the health department with further instructions on quarantine and testing.

Please note that all classrooms will be thoroughly cleaned by Facilities Management every day in order to minimize the risk of disease spread.


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