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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 academic accommodations.

Tracing Process

Contact tracers will conduct an interview with the positive case to identify those at high risk for contracting COVID-19 due to recent exposure. A positive case’s close contacts are defined as those who:

  • Shared the same indoor airspace for 15 minutes or longer within a 24-hour period with the positive case during their contagious period.
  • Were within six feet of the positive case during their contagious period for 15 minutes or longer within 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/or provide advice to get tested three to five days after exposure and wear a mask for 10 days from exposure.

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


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. Currently, close contacts are not required to quarantine.

Pepperdine has secured scalable isolation space sufficient to support outbreaks in our campus population. The University's plan addresses facilities, medical care, transportation, academic support, food and supplies delivery, and mental and spiritual counseling, among other items.


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. 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. 

Leaving Isolation 

Isolation in Los Angeles County typically lasts 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 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 August 1 (Day 0), your Day 5 would be August 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 August 1, Day 6 would be August 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 August 1 as Day 0, Day 10 would be August 11, and the enhanced masking requirement could be discontinued on August 12.


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

Care and Support During Isolation 

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.