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.

Student COVID-19 Case Notification Protocol

Any student who:

  • Has symptoms of COVID-19 and has been tested for infection, but has not yet received the test result, or
  • Has had a recent close contact (within 6 ft for 15 or more minutes) with someone who has recently tested positive for COVID-19, or
  • Is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 infection,

should quarantine at home and contact Campus Health (or another healthcare provider) for health care support immediately.

Any student who tests positive for COVID-19 must follow the notification protocol described below if the test was performed outside of UArizona. If the test was performed by UArizona, no action is necessary.

Required Student Actions

Students must self-report positive COVID-19 test results that they have received from testing outside of the University as soon as possible to Campus Health, which will share relevant information with our SAFER contact tracing team.

Once a positive test is reported to SAFER, the team will reach out to the student for case investigation and contact tracing, education on self-isolation, and needed wrap-around health support services. Students are required to answer the questions posed by the SAFER team honestly and as accurately as possible.

If the student is also a DCC or a student employee, the Case Notification Protocol for employees should also be followed.

Required Employee Actions

UArizona employees who know of a student who has recently tested positive for COVID-19 must;

  1. Remind the student of their obligation to self-report the test outcome to Campus Health using the online form or by phone (if the test was performed by a healthcare provider other than Campus Health).
  2. Direct the student to immediately go home, self-quarantine, and contact Campus Health or another healthcare provider for care and support.
  3. Fill out the Instructor Reporting Form (IRF) which provides a mechanism for instructors who are teaching IN-PERSON to report knowledge of COVID-19 cases in your classes. Students are not required to tell faculty when they have a positive test, but often they choose to do so. In order to track potential clusters of cases, public health investigates when there are 2 or more cases in a 2-week time period in the same location. This form allows instructors to report cases to SAFER, a group working directly with Pima County Health Department, and get information from trained epidemiologists on campus.


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.


A student’s medical information, such as a positive COVID-19 test result, will be considered and treated as confidential and private. We recognize the COVID-19 pandemic and the exceptional circumstances it presents require a careful balance between maintaining a safe campus and protecting a student’s privacy.

A student’s medical information will only be disclosed to University personnel responsible for the public health of our campuses, and only on a need to know basis and in the least intrusive manner possible.

The University provides training to personnel responsible for managing your confidential information and has provided the COVID-19 specific FERPA and HIPAA privacy guidance for your protection.

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, most symptomatic individuals (e.g. 80% - 95%) 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.

After receiving notification of a positive student case, SAFER will initiate our campus manual contact tracing protocol and seek to alert all recent close contacts (6’ or less for 15 mins or more) of the infected individual that they 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. The University will NOT notify or send a general message to all other students or instructors about test-positive individuals who attended an in-person class or activity.

SAFER contract tracers also need to identify potential outbreaks in classrooms. If an outbreak (defined as two or more cases in a 14-day time period) is found, a notification will be sent to the SAFER contract tracers. The SAFER contact tracers will then begin a case investigation to determine if the transmission might have been in the classroom. 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 there may have been a classroom transmission case. Instructors may be told the identity of the case to determine where students are in relation to each other during the course if this information cannot be accurately obtained from the students.

Identifiable information about you may be used for limited and specific purposes, including to: conduct a case investigation using protocols established by the Pima County Health Department and the Arizona Department of Health Services, and to contact an instructor to support a case investigation.

Note that all classrooms will be thoroughly cleaned by Facilities Management every day, to minimize the risk of disease spread.  No special cleaning requests are needed for classrooms.

We recognize that it is likely that more students than usual may choose to spend time away from in-person learning settings during the pandemic. Consistent with the University’s Class Absence Practices guidance, students are responsible for communicating to their instructor(s) that they will be away from in-person classes and remaining current with their coursework.  All students should be familiar with and follow the University’s Class Absence Practices guidance for information about how to deal with absences during the pandemic. Instructors and staff should not ask students about health information and students should not share any health information with instructors or staff.

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