Section 3: Testing, Reporting, Tracing and Quarantine

Testing

Pat Walker Health Center (PWHC) offers on-campus COVID-19 testing by appointment for all university students and employees.

For testing, please call Pat Walker Health Center at 479-575-4451, option 1 or use the Pat Walker Health Center portal.

Additional information about testing, results and quarantine/isolation requirements can be found on the Pat Walker Health Center Website.

Who Should be Tested for COVID-19?

Anyone who wants to be tested for COVID-19, can be, but it’s critical to be tested for COVID-19 if you:

  • Are experiencing any COVID-19-like symptoms.
  • Are identified as being a close contact/have had direct contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 – regardless of vaccination status. Unvaccinated and fully vaccinated individuals who have been identified as having a close contactshould be tested 3-5 days after exposure. However, fully vaccinated individuals do not need to quarantine unless they develop symptoms.
  • Believe you have been recently exposed in the past 14 days.
  • Plan on traveling or being around high-risk individuals susceptible to life-threatening complications due to COVID-19.

If you are unsure if you need to be tested, call to speak with a medical provider.

Self-Reporting a Positive COVID-19 Case

If you were tested off-campus and received a positive test for COVID-19, you must self-report your case to U of A Emergency Management using the online self-reporting form.

If you were tested on-campus, you do not need to self-report as your case information is provided directly to Emergency Management by the university.

Notifying Others of Positive COVID-19 Cases

The COVID-19 Positive Case Flowchart outlines the on-campus reporting, notification and testing procedures that have been established if you become aware of a positive COVID-19 case in your area.

Please see the “Dealing with Positive Cases of COVID-19 in the Workplace” portion of Section 5 of this guidance for supervisor requirements related to the notification of staff members and employee requirements regarding the return from isolation.

Contact Tracing

If you have tested positive — or been identified as a close contact — we encourage you to consider reaching out to those you have recently been in close contact with to inform them of your status.

You should also receive a call from a contact tracer and/or a case investigator from individuals working on behalf of the Arkansas Department of Health.

Contact tracing and isolation of people with COVID-19 and close contacts is critical to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in the community. It is very important to answer. If you do not answer, they will leave a generic message (with no private details) and ask you to call them back. If you want to verify that you have been contacted by an ADH case investigator or contact tracer, you may call (800) 803-7847.

The information you provide is protected health information, so it is kept private. Contact tracers and case investigators only reach out to those you have been in close contact with you, but will not share your name unless you give permission.

Quarantine and Isolation Procedures

If you do happen to come in close contact (within 6 feet for 15 or more cumulative minutes over a 24 hour period) with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, there are a few things to remember:

Fully Vaccinated Without Symptoms 

  • Fully vaccinated people with no COVID-like symptoms DO NOT need to quarantine following an exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.
  • However, you need to monitor for symptoms for 14 days following an exposure.
  • You should get tested 3-5 days after COVID exposure – earlier if you develop any symptoms.

Fully Vaccinated With Symptoms 

  • Fully vaccinated individuals who experience symptoms consistent with COVID-19 should isolate from others, be clinically evaluated and tested for COVID-19.  
  • You need to self-isolate for a full 10 days if you test positive for COVID-19. 

Unvaccinated or Partially Vaccinated 

  • You need to quarantine immediately and monitor for symptoms for 14 days.  This is the safest and most effective practice recommended by the CDC, ADH and Pat Walker Health Center.
  • You should get tested 3-5 days post exposure - earlier if you develop any symptoms.
  • You need to self-isolate for a full 10 days if you test positive for COVID-19. 

If you develop symptoms for COVID-19 during the quarantine period and receive a positive COVID-19 test result, you must follow the instructions for a 10-day isolation.

Is Quarantine Required While Awaiting Test Results?

IF you are not experiencing symptoms AND have not been identified as a close contact, students and employees are allowed to continue coming to campus for class and/or work while awaiting COVID-19 test results (or after receiving a negative test result) regardless of vaccination status.

What About Those Who’ve Had COVID-19 Before?

Anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 3 months and recovered does not have to quarantine or get tested again as long as they do not develop new symptoms.

The immunity/protection gained from prior COVID-19 infection is fleeting, lasting approximately 90 days and DOES NOT REPLACE getting vaccinated.

Who is required to Isolate?

Anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status.

How long to Isolate?

If you have COVID-19 with mild symptoms:

  • 10 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared AND
  • You have not had fever of 100.4° F or higher for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medicine AND
  • Your symptoms, such as cough or shortness of breath, are improving.

If you have COVID-19 and no symptoms:

  • 10 days have passed, and no symptoms have developed since the date of lab collection.

Where Should You Quarantine/Isolate?

If required to quarantine or isolate, you will need to separate yourself from others and avoid using shared living spaces if possible. Make sure there is someone at the residence (or you can call) who can help you with basic needs and support like groceries and prescription medicines.

On-Campus Residents

  • Students living on campus should return home temporarily or use an off-campus alternative to complete their quarantine or isolation period.
  • For students unable to return home, University Housing has a limited number of dedicated quarantine/isolation rooms available.
  • Students who cannot find a place to complete their isolation or quarantine period off-campus can discuss all viable options with their hall or apartment staff.
  • Students can return to their on-campus assignment after the quarantine or isolation time recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local public health authorities.

Off-Campus Students

  • Students living off campus should complete their quarantine or isolation period at their home residence or somewhere with access to a separate room and bathroom.
  • Students should not leave their home except to get medical care.
  • Students needing help can also contact U of A Caresfor additional support.

Release from Quarantine/Isolation

Individuals are released from isolation or quarantine based on current best practices, such as length of time, improving symptoms, and the guidance of health care providers and state health officials. Once you have completed your quarantine/isolation period, you are free to resume regular activities.

Quarantine is required for 14 days for unvaccinated and symptomatic individuals. This is the safest and most effective practice recommended by the CDC, ADH and Pat Walker Health Center.

If you require a release from quarantine/isolation letter to be able to return to various activities, you may contact ADH or the medical provider who conducted your test. You can also call the ADH COVID-19 Hotline at 1-800-803-7847.