COVID-19 Triage, Testing, and Contact Tracing

Student Triage and Testing

Salem Health Services will provide triage care for students who report COVID-19 symptoms and exposure to determine whether testing and quarantine / isolation are required. Students who report concerning COVID-19 symptoms will be referred to Health Services for testing. Students who have experienced close contact exposure may be directed by Health Services to receive a COVID-19 test. Health Services will conduct on-campus COVID-19 testing for students when tests are ordered by a Health Services medical provider. 

Due to the seriousness of COVID-19 and mitigation efforts required during the pandemic, students who refuse to take a COVID-19 test at the request of Health Services will face disciplinary action up to and including expulsion. 

COVID-19 Surveillance Testing

Salem Academy and College has discontinued mandated surveillance testing due to high COVID-19 vaccination rates, minimal COVID-19 infection rates, public health guidance and data.

Surveillance testing of asymptomatic persons is not indicated in communities with a low prevalence of COVID.

Employee Triage and Testing

Salem employees should utilize their primary care physician or healthcare provider to request triage and testing for COVID-19. Employees who do not have a primary care provider can seek additional information about COVID-19 and local testing centers by contacting the Forsyth County Health Department (336-582-0800) or 24-hour helplines established by local health systems Novant Health (877-499-1697) or Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center (336-702-6843).

Contact Tracing to Identify Close Contacts

Contact tracing is the process for identifying individuals who have been in close contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 and who as a result need to self-monitor their health and quarantine during the incubation period for developing COVID-19. The purpose of contact tracing is to limit the spread of COVID-19 by notifying individuals who may contract the virus of their need to quarantine and limit exposure of others.

When Salem receives notice that a campus member has tested positive for COVID-19, Salem will interview the campus member to the extent possible to identify their close contacts on campus for contact tracing and quarantine notification purposes. In coordinating with close contacts or issuing campus notifications, Salem will not personally identify the campus member who has tested positive. In the event a student or employee tests positive, the affected student or employee must “self-disclose” to Salem per the reporting channels provided in these guidelines to help identify others at risk.

The CDC defines “close contact” as an individual within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes during a 24-hour period starting from 2 days before symptom onset for symptomatic individuals and 2 days prior to positive specimen collection for asymptomatic individuals. Close contacts typically include people in your home, your partner or spouse, people who take care of you, people who are under your care, and teammates.  Close contact exposure can also result from sharing food, drinks, or utensils or someone sneezed, coughed, or got respiratory droplets on you. Testing is recommended and may be required by Salem for campus members who are found to be close contacts of confirmed or probable COVID-19 cases.