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Trace:
COVID-19 Community Response Plan

Contact Tracing

Contact tracing is the process of identifying persons who may have come into contact with a confirmed COVID-19 patient and the subsequent collection of further information about these contacts. Per Los Angeles County Department of Public Health requirements, Pepperdine must conduct contact tracing for its community. Therefore, Pepperdine has hired and trained personnel to conduct contact tracing for all positive cases of COVID-19 in the faculty, staff, and student communities in line with County requirements. This process is designed to rapidly identify potential exposures while appropriately respecting confidentiality.

Notification to Positive Case

If a test is conducted by the Student Health Center or through Pepperdine weekly screening testing sites (UCLA/SwabSeq), after notifying the patient of the positive test results,  the contact tracing process is initiated. For positive test results received outside of the Student Health Center or weekly screening sites, the patient should immediately report the positive result by completing START Form to begin the contact tracing process. Next, they should enter and upload their positive test to the Student Health Center Patient Portal. This is required in order to validate positive tests for exemption and academic accommodations.

Tracing Process

Contact tracers will then conduct an interview with the positive case to identify those at high risk for contracting COVID-19 due to recent exposure. Those at high risk include close contacts, who are identified individuals who were within six feet of the documented case during their contagious period for more than 15 minutes during a 24-hour period. The contagious period is defined as 48 hours prior to the symptoms developing or 48 hours prior to a positive test result. Pepperdine may extend this period to be conservative, when appropriate and feasible.

Contact tracers identify and communicate with close contacts in order to obtain information and advise what recommendations to follow regarding but not limited to, quarantine, criteria for transition to isolation, and access to testing (if applicable). If any close contacts test positive immediately or during quarantine, this person will be transferred to isolation, and a new tracing process will begin for the subsequent positive case. Others identified to be potentially exposed, but not meeting CDC criteria for close contacts needing quarantine, may be contacted and asked to self-monitor for 10 days and notify the University if they begin to develop symptoms.

Coordination with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health

In compliance with established protocols, the University will continue to coordinate closely with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, which will work with the University as appropriate to monitor conditions, identify potential trends or hot spots, and recommend subsequent action.

Contact Tracing and Phishing Scams

Contact tracing scams have been observed wherein people pretending they are performing COVID-19 contact tracing may call, visit, write, or email in an effort to get information or money from you. Pepperdine and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health may call, email, and write to people who have COVID-19 and people who they may have been in contact with but, rest assured, they will never request a social security number, financial information, or money. Learn more about contact tracing scams on the L.A. County Public Health COVID-19 Scams and Fraud webpage.

For questions, please contact the COVID-19 Information Line at covid19info@pepperdine.edu or 310.506.8111.

Isolation and Quarantine


Definitions

Isolation: Medical isolation refers to confining a confirmed or suspected COVID-19 case to prevent contact with others and to reduce the risk of transmission.

Quarantine: Quarantine refers to separating people who have been, or may have been, exposed to COVID-19, but are not showing signs of illness.

As part of our comprehensive infection control plan, Pepperdine has secured scalable quarantine and isolation space sufficient to support outbreaks in our campus population throughout the academic year and, in particular, in the event of positive COVID-19 cases. The University's plan addresses facilities, medical care, transportation, academic support, food and supplies delivery, and mental and spiritual counseling, among other items, and is consistent with LACDPH guidance for institutes of higher education.

Procedures

Individuals who test positive outside of Pepperdine weekly screening tests (UCLA/SwabSeq) or the Student Health Center should complete the START Form to notify the University of their positive test result from outside the University. Completing this form initiates the contact tracing process, academic support, and other University processes to assist with managing cases and supporting those currently in isolation. 

Individuals who are close contacts of a positive case, defined as having 15 minutes or more of contact within six feet of the infected individual during a 24 hour period, may need to enter quarantine depending upon their COVID-19 vaccination status. If you learned of your close contact status from Pepperdine’s contact tracers, you do not need to complete the START Form. However, if you learned of your exposure from another source, please complete the START Form to alert the University to your exposure.

  • Quarantine is required for Individuals who are “Not Up To Date” on their COVID-19 vaccinations which includes:

    • Unvaccinated individuals
    • Individuals who are eligible but have not yet received their COVID-19 booster shot.
  • Quarantine is not required for individuals who are “Up To Date” on their COVID-19 vaccinations status which includes:

    • Individuals who are fully vaccinated and boosted
    • Individuals who are fully vaccinated but not yet eligible for their booster shot
    • Individuals who have recovered from a COVID-19 infection in the past 90 days

Leaving Isolation and Quarantine

Isolation and quarantine in Los Angeles County typically last for 10 days. Complete the EXIT Form upon completion of this time period. Additionally, this same form can be used to notify the University you have left isolation or quarantine early if you meet the requirements below. 

  • Asymptomatic or fever free for 24 hours without medication with other symptoms improving
  • Take an antigen test as early as Day 5 of your isolation or quarantine, which is defined as the date of your positive test or exposure plus five days. 
    For example, if you test positive or were exposed on February 1 (Day 0), your Day 5 would be February 6.
  • If the test is negative, you may exit isolation or quarantine on the morning of Day 6.
    Using the previous example of Day 0 on February 1, Day 6 would be February 7.

Anyone leaving isolation or quarantine early is required to wear an enhanced mask (surgical, KN95, N95) while around others, both inside and outside, through 10 days from their positive test or exposure.

  • Using the example of February 1 as Day 0, Day 10 would be February 11, and the enhanced masking requirement could be discontinued on February 12.

Transportation

Pepperdine will provide appropriate transportation for residential students to and from quarantine and isolation locations.

Care and Support During Isolation and Quarantine

The University will coordinate the appropriate level of care to address student health needs, dependent on medical condition and student preference. Services available include medical check-in and treatment, food delivery, Student Care Team case management, assistance with academic arrangements, telehealth counseling and spiritual counseling, and other reasonable requests.

For questions, please contact the COVID-19 Information Line at covid19info@pepperdine.edu or 310.506.8111.