Contact Tracing

To help mitigate the spread of COVID-19, Emory has launched its own internal case investigation and contact tracing program.

What is Contract Tracing?

Contact tracing is a public health function that identifies persons who may have come into contact with an infected person. Contact tracing is an effective disease control strategy that identifies cases and their close contacts and works with them to interrupt disease transmission.

Two important tools that are an integral part of contact tracing are isolation and quarantine, both of which help protect the public by preventing exposure to people who have or may have a contagious disease.

  • Isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick.
  • Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.

By isolating individuals who test positive, tracing their close contacts, testing their close contacts for infection, and isolating or quarantining them as appropriate, Emory’s contact tracing program aims to reduce transmission of infections in Emory’s population (faculty, staff, and students).

Faculty and Staff Contact Tracing

In order to facilitate accurate tracking of Emory’s COVID-19 burden and to effectively and efficiently assist Emory University faculty and staff, the following processes are in place

  • Employees should call the Contact Tracing line at 404-727-6190 to report symptoms and/or a community or workplace exposure.
  • Employees should answer their phones throughout the contact tracing process. The contact tracing team makes outbound calls to employees, “Emory COVID Contact Tracing” will show on caller ID if an employee’s cell phone carrier supports this function.
  • Employees with symptoms will be asked to test and should isolate until a return-to-work coordinator with Emory’s Office of Occupational Injury Management (OIM) clears them to return to work/campus. Employees with symptoms will also be asked by the contact tracing team to provide their close contacts.
  • Employees who test positive are asked to isolate for at least 10 days. They should not return to campus until OIM clears them. Employees who test positive are not required to have a negative test to return.
  • Employees who are asked to quarantine because of an exposure are asked to complete a diagnostic test (day 7 post-exposure) and quarantine for 10-days. Emory’s contact tracing team will manage the quarantine period. An employee cannot be returned to campus until she/he has completed testing and responded to the contact tracing team’s calls and emails (to check in with the employee throughout his or her quarantine period). If the employee tests too early (before day 7 after an exposure), s/he will need a second test. Failure to respond to Emory’s contact tracing team or complete testing will delay the return to campus.
  • Asymptomatic (without symptoms), vaccinated employees who report an exposure will be asked to monitor themselves for symptoms for 14 days, complete a diagnostic test between 3-5 days after exposure, and complete the contact tracing symptoms check at 7- and 14-days. These employees will not be asked to quarantine.
  • If you are a supervisor and an employee informs you that s/he has tested positive, had an exposure, or is experiencing symptoms, please send an email to the Contact Tracing Team with that information, Attn CT Manager, at The contact tracing team will follow-up with the employee.
  • Employees who know they are a close contact (home, community, or workplace) do not have to wait for the contact tracing team to call them. The employee can proactively report the exposure and start the process.
  • In the rare event that an employee does not comply with Emory contact tracing protocols, the contact tracing team will notify the employee’s supervisor to help facilitate the process.
  • Employees should ensure that all information in PeopleSoft HR is current.

Revised Sept. 17, 2021