On this page

The college has developed extensive protocols to address a community member testing positive through asymptomatic or symptomatic testing. The college has partnered with the Contact Tracing Collaborative to identify the close contacts of the positive cases in a timely manner to mitigate the risk of an outbreak. The college will not send out a community communication with every positive case, but the testing results page is updated daily as results come in and the campus operations dashboard will be updated every Monday.  

What happens when a RESIDENT STUDENT tests positive for COVID-19?

  1. The student is contacted by a medical professional and informed of their test result.
  2. The student is immediately contacted by Wheaton COVID staff and informed of the isolation procedures.  
      • A positive person must isolate for a minimum of 10 days. The positive student has the choice to isolate in on-campus quarantine and isolation housing or isolate at an off-campus residence.  
      • If a student chooses to isolate off campus, they cannot return to campus until their isolation period is complete.
  3. The student will collect necessary belongings for the isolation period and meet Wheaton COVID staff at the quarantine and isolation housing location.
      • Students are not permitted to leave isolation housing for any reason. Students do not have access to delivery, take out, or laundry services during this time.
  4. The student’s permanent room is closed and the common spaces and high-touch surfaces in the residence hall are disinfected. Other spaces the student was recently in are assessed for disinfection needs.
  5. The Wheaton COVID staff will provide information regarding ordering food from dining services and support services on campus.
  6. The Wheaton COVID staff will notify the Contact Tracing Collaborative (CTC) to initiate the contact tracing protocol.
  7. An investigator from CTC will contact the positive student to identify any close contacts. See Close Contacts Below.
      • A close contact is defined by the CDC as any individual within 6 feet for more than 15 cumulative minutes within a 24-hour period (e.g. three 5-minute exposures for a total of 15 minutes), with or without a mask for up to 48 hours prior to the positive test or symptoms.
  8. Throughout the isolation period, the college’s nursing staff, COVID Staff, and CTC will check in with the positive student on a regular basis. 
  9. At the end of the isolation period, CTC will provide the positive student with a clearance letter to present to the Dean of Students Office to return to the classes and exit isolation. Per CDC guidance, the positive student will not be placed back into asymptomatic testing for 90 days.  

What happens when a NON-RESIDENT STUDENT or an EMPLOYEE tests positive for COVID-19?

  1. The individual is contacted by a medical professional and informed of their test result.
  2. The individual is contacted by Wheaton COVID staff and informed that they need to leave campus immediately.   
    • A positive person must isolate for a minimum of 10 days. The positive employee should contact their healthcare provider for additional information. The positive student should contact Norton Medical or their healthcare provider.  
  3. The spaces the individual was recently in are assessed for disinfection needs. 
  4. The Wheaton COVID staff will notify the Contact Tracing Collaborative (CTC) to initiate the contact tracing protocol.
  5. The CTC will contact the positive individual to identify any close contacts. See Close Contacts below.
    • A close contact is defined by the CDC as any individual within 6 feet for more than 15 cumulative minutes within a 24-hour period (e.g. three 5-minute exposures for a total of 15 minutes), with or without a mask for up to 48 hours prior to the positive test or symptoms.
  6. Throughout the isolation period, CTC will contact the positive individual.
  7. At the end of the isolation period, CTC will provide the positive individual with a clearance letter to present to Human Resources or the Dean of Students Office to return to campus. See Employee Return to  Work checklist on Inside Wheaton. Per CDC guidance, the positive individual will not be placed back into asymptomatic testing for 90 days.  

Close Contacts

  1. The CTC will contact the Wheaton COVID staff with any Wheaton community names that are identified as close contacts. 
    • The CTC will also identify the quarantine timeline based on the last date of exposure. 
    • Identities of non-Wheaton close contacts are not disclosed to the college.
  2. Wheaton COVID staff will contact any identified Wheaton close contacts immediately.
  3. The student will be informed of the quarantine procedures. An employee close contact will leave campus immediately and quarantine at home or at an off-campus residence.  A close contact must quarantine for a minimum of 14 days from the last date of exposure.  
    • The close contact student has the choice to quarantine in on-campus Quarantine and Isolation Housing or quarantine at an off-campus residence.  
    • If a student chooses to quarantine off campus, they cannot return to campus until their quarantine period is complete.
  4. The student will collect necessary belongings for the quarantine and meet Wheaton COVID staff at the Quarantine and Isolation Housing.
    • Students are not permitted to leave quarantine housing for any reason. Students do not have access to delivery, take out, or laundry services during this time.
  5. The Wheaton COVID staff will provide information regarding ordering food from dining services and support services on campus.
  6. Close contacts should test on day 5 and day 12 of their quarantine. For students staying in the Quarantine and Isolation housing, the college’s testing center staff will administer the test at the student’s assigned room.
    • If the close contact tests positive or develops symptoms, they will be redesignated and relocated to isolation housing and CTC will update their isolation timeline to include at least another 10 days in isolation.
  7. Throughout the quarantine period, the college’s nursing staff, COVID Staff, and CTC will contact the close contact on a regular basis. 
  8. At the end of the quarantine period, CTC will provide the close contact with a clearance letter to present to the Dean of Students Office to return to the classes and exit quarantine.  
    • Employees will present the letter to Human Resources to return to work.