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The college has developed extensive protocols to address a community member testing positive through asymptomatic or symptomatic testing. Wheaton and Norton Board of Health will be working collaboratively on contact tracing and tracking of positive and exposed individuals. 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.

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 and do not have access to delivery, take-out, or laundry services during this time. Students are encouraged to bring the items they will require for the duration of their stay.
  4. 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. Students are required to have a meal plan if staying on campus for isolation housing.
  6. The Wheaton COVID staff will notify the Norton Board of Health to initiate the contact tracing protocol.
  7. Wheaton and Norton Board of Health will work collaboratively to 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 testing center medical staff and the campus COVID support team will check in with the positive student on a regular basis.
  9. At the end of the isolation period, the positive student will not be placed back into asymptomatic testing for 90 days, per CDC guidance.

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 Norton Board of Health to initiate the contact tracing protocol.
  5. Wheaton and the local Board of Health 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 who was within 6 feet for a total of 15 minutes or more within two days prior to illness onset (symptoms onset or a positive test) regardless of whether the contact was wearing a mask
  6. At the end of the isolation period, the positive individual will not be placed back into asymptomatic testing for 90 days, per CDC guidance. Employees should also review the Return to Work Checklist on insideWheaton.

Close Contacts

  1. The local Board of Health (Norton or other town depending on residence of the positive case) will contact the Wheaton COVID staff with any Wheaton community names that are identified as close contacts.
    • The local Board of Health 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.
  3. Current guidance allows for fully vaccinated people who are identified as close contact, and are experiencing no symptoms, to be exempt from quarantine.
    • Close contacts who are exempt from quarantine are still advised to follow the CDC guidelines for a close contact with someone who has COVID-19 including:
      • Test 3-5 days after your exposure, even if still asymptomatic. 
      • Wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days following exposure or until your test result is negative.
  4. For a student who is unvaccinated, under-vaccinated, or symptomatic, the student will be informed of the current policies and expectations 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 10 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.
  5. The student will collect necessary belongings for the quarantine and meet Wheaton COVID staff at the Quarantine and Isolation Housing.
    • Students do not have access to delivery, take out, or laundry services during this time.
  6. The Wheaton COVID staff will provide information regarding ordering food from dining services and support services on campus. Students are required to have a meal plan if staying on campus for quarantine.
  7. Close contacts who are quarantining should test on day 5 and day 8 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.
  8. Throughout the quarantine period, the college’s testing center medical staff and the campus COVID support team will contact the close contact on a regular basis.