COVID-19 Contact Tracing

How does contact tracing work?


Press the play button above to learn more about contact tracing.

If a member of the Carolina community – including students, faculty and staff – tests positive for COVID-19, we will follow standard contact tracing protocols to identify and communicate directly with those who had close contact with the individual.

Visit the Campus Health website for more information.

Any individual within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative time of 15 minutes starting from 2 days before symptom onset for symptomatic individuals and 2 days prior to positive specimen collection for asymptomatic individuals.

This means that individuals who maintain at least 6 feet physical separation in a classroom or congregate setting will typically not be considered a close contact.

Tracing is conducted in concert with Employee Occupational Health, Campus Health and the Orange County Health Department or other local health departments.

The COVID-19 Community Standards outline student, faculty and staff responsibilities for providing accurate information on close contacts.

How are results of COVID-19 testing communicated to the UNC community?


The UNC-Chapel Hill COVID-19 Dashboard helps us track and analyze the impact of COVID-19 on the overall health of our campus community.

Consistent with the State Human Resources Act and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, as well as other privacy considerations, schools, departments and units should not communicate about COVID-19 positive cases broadly to their populations. Individuals who have been potentially exposed to the positive case will be notified through the University’s contact tracing procedures, making broad communications unnecessary.

The University is committed to communicating important information in a timely manner while maintaining the privacy of students, faculty and staff. In some circumstances it may be appropriate for the University to inform specific campus populations – whether within a specific residence hall, office building, classroom or other defined campus environment – as an additional precaution, subject to important privacy laws that prevent the disclosure of information that may be used to identify the individual(s) who tested positive. The University will make decisions on any communications to specific campus populations based upon approved guidelines and coordinate decisions with schools, departments and units. The University will determine the release of non-identifying communications about clusters of positive results based on approved guidelines

On August 28, Vice Chancellor for Institutional Integrity and Risk management made an announcement that the University will begin sharing information about COVID-19 clusters on the Carolina Together website.

Privacy Statement: Carolina Together Testing Program.