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What happens when a COVID-19 case is reported

Guided by expertise from public health officials and the CDC, university staff responds quickly to reports related to COVID-19 on campus.

Updated: January 11, 2021

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Reporting self-isolation is crucial to the response process.
  • The contact tracing team will contact people who report self-isolation to check on their situation and provide guidance.
  • Facilities Services may initiate temporary closures and enhanced cleaning and disinfection.

Guided by expertise from public health officials and the CDC, the university’s contact tracing team, Facilities Services, Student Health Center, and University Housing respond quickly to reports related to COVID-19.

The response process starts with a COVID-19 self-isolation form.

Contact tracing team

The university will work in coordination with the Knox County Health Department to perform contact tracing. University contact tracing staff will contact anyone who submits a COVID-19 self-isolation form.

The contact tracing team’s role is to check on a student or employee’s situation, help connect them to support resources, provide guidance, and help contact others who may need to take precautions.

Students and employees are asked to promptly respond to communications (text, call, or email) from local health authorities and the university’s contact tracing team.

Facilities Services

Facilities Services closely monitors the latest guidance for slowing the spread of COVID-19, including best practices for ventilation and for cleaning and disinfecting. High-touch surfaces and common areas are routinely cleaned to protect against exposure to COVID-19.

Facilities Services may initiate temporary closures of affected campus spaces. If a nonresidential campus space is affected by COVID-19, Facilities Services will identify key people who use the space and communicate with them to discuss temporary closure requirements, coordination of enhanced cleaning and disinfecting, and considerations such as sensitive equipment. University Housing will follow the same protocol for residential spaces.

Signage will be posted to designate temporarily closed areas. If possible, spaces will be closed for seven days before cleaning. In most instances, spaces will be closed for at least 24 hours or cleaned immediately when necessary to avoid displacing residential students.

Learn more about the work of Facilities Services.

Student Health Center

The Student Health Center will have extended hours including evenings and weekends. The university will also have a nurse available to speak to students by phone 24 hours a day.

Students should call the nurse triage line at 865-974-5080 if they feel sick to discuss their symptoms and arrange an appointment. After-hours care has been arranged for eligible students through the UT Medical Center emergency room at 865-305-9000. Learn more about Student Health Center eligibility and cost.

Always call 911 in case of emergency.

University Housing

In consultation with health experts, University Housing will help coordinate self-isolation for residential students who test positive for COVID-19, have symptoms of COVID-19, or may have had close contact with a COVID-19 case.

Learn more about when to self-isolate and how self-isolation works.

Learn more about what to do if you feel sick.

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System and partner in the Tennessee Transfer Pathway.