Exposure

Have a question that isn’t answered below? Email together@vcu.edu or see a list of additional contacts who may be able to help.

Q: What is considered exposure?

A: Exposure to COVID-19, means you had close contact with someone with COVID-19. Close contact includes:

  • Living with a person who has COVID-19
  • Providing care for a person who has COVID-19
  • Being within 6 feet of a COVID-19-positive person for a total of 15 minutes or more over the course of a 24-hour period; it is also considered as an exposure whether one or both parties were wearing a mask; and it is still considered as an exposure whether the infected person was symptomatic or asymptomatic of COVID-19, as long as they later test positive for COVID-19; or
  • Having exposure to respiratory secretions from a person with COVID-19 (e.g., being coughed or sneezed on, sharing a drinking glass or utensils, kissing)

A person with COVID-19 is considered to be contagious starting from 2 days before they started experiencing symptoms (or 2 days before they tested positive if they never had symptoms) until they meet the criteria to discontinue isolation.

For more information on exposure, visit https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/local-exposure/.

Q: What if someone in my class, office or building tests positive for COVID-19? Is that considered exposure? Will I be notified?

A: If you are known to have been exposed (see exposure definition above) to someone who tests positive for COVID-19, you will be contacted by VCU contact tracers. VCU will make every effort to notify you if your class is relocated or your office is closed for cleaning due to a known COVID-19 positive individual having occupied a space. However, please understand that cleaning must often happen faster than notifications can be made.

Q: What if I am symptomatic or test positive for COVID-19?

A: Do not report to any campus activities and call 1-804-MYCOVID or 1-804-692-6843 to report your symptoms or test results to University Student Health Services or Employee Health. All university community members must follow this public health measure regardless of vaccination status. Call center representatives will ask you who you have been in contact with, so they can contact exposed individuals. Notify your faculty or supervisor that you will be absent from class or work. You are not required to disclose a reason. 

Q: What if I am exposed to someone who tests positive for COVID-19?

A: You will be contacted by VCU’s contact tracing team if you are known to have been exposed to a positive case of COVID-19. Contact tracers will advise you regarding testing and quarantine/isolation. 

Q: What if I'm vaccinated and I'm exposed to someone who tests positive for COVID-19?

A: Fully vaccinated students and employees are exempt from quarantine, meaning you do not need to quarantine if you have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 unless you have symptoms. However, fully vaccinated people should get tested 3-5 days after their exposure, even if they don’t have symptoms, and wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days following exposure or until their test result is negative. If you do present COVID-like symptoms, you should quarantine until you can be tested and receive a negative result. 

Q: I was informed that my class was relocated (or my office was closed) for cleaning. Does that mean I should get tested or quarantine?

A: Not necessarily. Those who are known to have been exposed to someone who tests positive for COVID-19 should contact Student Health Services or Employee Health Services for more direction about testing. You should continue to monitor your health and call the 1-804-MYCOVID call center if you begin to experience symptoms. If you are not contacted by contact tracers and have had no known exposure to a COVID-19 positive individual, you do not need to quarantine. You should, however, continue to follow health and safety protocols and monitor your health.