Positive case and direct exposure faq

All correspondences from the Parkland COVID Response Team (CRT) will come to your Parkland email address from "COVID Response Team (via Maxient)".

Positive Cases

Last updated: 1/26/22

How and to whom should I report to if I test positive for COVID?

Every positive case must work with Parkland’s COVID Response Team (CRT) as soon as possible.

Contact Parkland’s COVID Response Team (CRT)

Immediately after getting your positive test results, contact Parkland’s CRT regarding your test result using one of the following forms:

IDPH

Additional information from the Illinois Department of Public Health can be found on their website.

What does Parkland's CRT do with this report?

Parkland's COVID Response Team will work with you to:

  1. Manage your isolation period
  2. Interview you to determine if there are any Parkland campus exposures associated with your positive case that need to be dealt with
  3. Inform your faculty or supervisor about your absence associated with your isolation status
  4. Authorize your return to campus after you complete the COVID-19 Symptom Questionnaire at the end of your isolation period.
How long will my isolation period be if I test positive for COVID-19?

Under current CDC/IDPH guidance (as of 1/4/22) the isolation period can be as short as 5 days but may be longer. According to CUPHD, if a positive case is asymptomatic or "their symptoms go away or are significantly improving after 5 days, they can leave isolation with extreme caution. If they have a fever, they should continue isolation until they are fever free. They should continue to wear a mask around others for the next 5 days." Even if a person meets the criteria outlined in this answer, they may not return to Parkland's campus until the steps in the next section are completed.

What do I need to do after my isolation period is over to be able to return to Parkland's campus?

Two important steps must be completed in order to return to Parkland's campus:

  1. The positive case must complete the COVID-19 Symptom Questionnaire that will be emailed to them by the CRT near the end of their isolation period. 
  2. The CRT will then issue the positive case a Return to Campus Authorization Letter that will also be sent to the case's faculty or supervisor.

No individual will be allowed to return to campus after being in isolation until both steps are completed.

Are there any special populations at Parkland that have a different isolation procedure after testing positive?

Yes. These populations include:

  • Parkland students who have not yet graduated high school: These students will follow the current IDPH/ISBE isolation periods. 
  • Parkland Child Development Center staff and students: These individuals will follow current CUPHD/DCFS isolation protocols. Their processes are the same as described above but the duration of their isolation period is a minimum of 10 days.
  • Parkland Health Professions students and faculty/staff: These rules only apply to their on-campus activities. Additional or different isolation protocols might be in place as dictated by and managed by their clinical sites.
  • Parkland athletes and athletic related staff: Additional isolation protocols might be added by the Athletic Department medical staff. Please see the Athletics Department for those details.

Direct Exposure Cases

Last updated: 1/26/22

What constitutes a Direct Exposure (or "close contact")?

You are considered a "close contact" if you are within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period starting from 2 days before the symptoms onset of the positive individual or the test sample collection date in the case of an asymptomatic positive individual.

How and to whom should I report to if I am a "close contact"/direct exposure?

Parkland's COVID Response Team (CRT). Please use the following forms to make this report:

How will I know if I am a close contact/direct exposure?

You will find out that you are a close contact/direct exposure in one of three ways:

  • You will be notified that you were around the positive case by the positive case themselves.
  • The Parkland CRT will contact you and let you know that you were potentially exposed at Parkland. This information is based on the contact tracing processes that result from positive case reports they have received.
  • The IDPH contact tracers or local Public Health Department contact tracers will contact you indicating you may have been exposed based on information received during their contact tracing investigations. 
If I am a "close contact"/direct exposure, do I have to quarantine?

Yes, you do, unless one of the following two conditions exist:

  1. You are fully up to date with your vaccinations. Up to date means the following:
    1. You have had all doses of your initial COVID vaccination series AND a COVID booster, or
    1. You are not eligible for a booster shot yet, which means
      1. The second dose of your Moderna sequence was administered less than 6 months ago
      1. The second dose of your Pfizer dose was administered less than 5 months ago
      1. The J&J Janssen shot was administered less than 2 months ago
      1. A booster has not been authorized for your age range yet.
  2. You have tested positive for COVID in the last 90 days.
How long is my quarantine period?

Under current CDC/IDPH guidance (as of 1/4/22) the quarantine period can be as short as 5 days but may be longer if they have developed symptoms during the first 5 days of their quarantine period. According to the CDC, if a person develops symptoms by day 5 of their quarantine period, they should continue quarantine past 5 days "until a negative test confirms symptoms are not caused by COVID-19."

All quarantined individuals leaving quarantine after 5 days must always wear a mask around other individuals for an additional 5 days.

How do I get authorization to return to campus after my quarantine period?

This is a 2-step process. 

  1. Near the end of your quarantine period, you affirm to the CRT that you are not experiencing any COVID symptoms using the COVID-19 Symptom Questionnaire.
  2. After submitting this form, the CRT will issue the quarantined individual a Return to Campus Authorization Letter that will also be sent to the student's faculty/employee's supervisor. 

No individual will be allowed to return to campus after being quarantined until both steps are completed. 

Are there any other recommendations related to exiting a quarantine period?

Yes. It is highly recommended that a person that was a "close contact"/direct exposure to an infected individual get a COVID test 5 days after the exposure.

Are there any special populations at Parkland that have a different quarantine procedure after a direct exposure?

Yes. These populations include:

  • Parkland students that have not yet graduated HS - These students will follow the current IDPH/ISBE quarantine periods.
  • Parkland Child Development Center staff and students – These individuals will follow current CUPHD/DCFS isolation protocols. Their processes are the same as described above but the duration of their quarantine period is likely to be as long as 10 days.
  • Parkland Health Professions students and faculty/staff – These rules only apply to their on-campus activities.  Additional or different quarantine protocols might be in place as dictated by and managed by their clinical sites.
  • Parkland athletes and athletic related staff – Additional quarantine protocols might be added by the Athletic Department medical staff.  Please see the Athletics Department for those details.
What should I do to minimize my quarantine likelihood?

Get a COVID booster as soon as you are eligible to receive one. Booster information can be found on the CDC website.