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Positive COVID-19 Cases & Contact Tracing

Students, faculty, and staff members who have tested positive for COVID-19, or are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should not report to work, class, or other activities on campus.  

Reporting COVID-19 Cases

Students, faculty, or staff who have tested positive for COVID-19, or are informed of a positive case by another community member, must notify Health Services or Human Resources through the online form. They will then be interviewed and anyone deemed as a close contact will be notified.

Close Contacts

Pratt uses the New York City definition of close contact. Anyone who meets the outlined criteria of close contact (read the criteria below carefully) should begin symptom monitoring, quarantining, and testing if they are not vaccinated. If they do not meet the criteria for a close contact, they should monitor their symptoms and continue to practice key health habits. Review the action and impact guide below for more details.

Close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 is defined as:

  • spending 10 minutes or more within six feet of each other

You may have been in a class, studio, or workspace with a positive case and do not meet the criteria for a close contact, meaning your risk is very low. 

  • Being a close contact is NOT: 
  • spending time in a room with someone (e.g., classroom, studio, or workspace) if you have maintained six feet spacing
  • passing by someone in a hallway
  • living in the same building or floor as somebody
  • occupying a space (non-simultaneously) that someone previously occupied

Personal comfort levels can be different for everyone, but Pratt, along with the New York Department of Health, continues to follow guidance from the CDC and New York State to determine exposure notifications. 

Contact Tracing

The New York City contact tracing program ended in April 2022, New Yorkers who test positive or were exposed to COVID-19 can still call 212-COVID-19 (212-268-4319) or use the COVID-19 Quarantine and Isolation Guidance Tool to receive personalized guidance that fits their specific circumstances.

Members of the Pratt community identified as close contacts by Health Services, Public Safety, Human Resources or Residential Life will be instructed to follow health and safety protocols outlined in the actions and impact guide to take care of their health and prevent the further spread of COVID-19

More details on the definition of close contact and what to expect from contact tracing can be found on NYC Health + Hospitals.

Actions and Impact Guide

If you are unsure about your status, or are NOT identified as a close contact and are… Action and Impact
Fully Vaccinated and symptom free No quarantine
  • Continue to learn or work in person
  • Mask indoors on campus
  • Regular COVID-19 testing is encouraged
Fully Vaccinated and experiencing symptoms Quarantine for 5 days OR a negative COVID-19 test
  • Learn or work* remotely if possible and if well enough to do so
  • Inform your faculty or supervisor
  • Mask indoors for 14 days on and off campus
  • Get tested for COVID-19 after suspected or known exposure 
  • Consult your doctor/student health and follow their guidance
Unvaccinated and symptom free No quarantine
  • Continue to learn or work in person
  • Mask indoors on and off campus
  • Continue weekly on-campus testing
Unvaccinated and experiencing symptoms Quarantine for 5 days OR a negative COVID-19 test
  • Learn or work* remotely if possible and if well enough to do so
  • Inform your faculty or supervisor
  • Mask indoors for 10 days on and off campus
  • Get tested for COVID-19 after suspected or known exposure 
  • Consult your doctor/student health and follow their guidance
Return to in-person class or work
  • Negative COVID-19 test result OR
  • It has been at least 5 days since your symptoms started
  • NO fever for the prior 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing drugs
  • Your overall illness has improved
If you are in close contact and are… Action and Impact
Fully Vaccinated and symptom free

OR

Fully recovered from COVID-19 in the past 3 months and symptom free
No quarantine
  • Continue to learn or work in person
  • Watch for symptoms until 10 days after you last had close contact with someone with COVID-19.
  • Mask indoors for 10 days on and off campus
  • A test for COVID 3–5 days after exposure is encouraged
Fully Vaccinated and experiencing symptoms Quarantine for 5 days OR a negative COVID-19 PCR test
  • Learn or work remotely* if possible and if well enough to do so
  • Inform your faculty or supervisor
  • Mask indoors for 14 days on and off campus
  • A test for COVID after exposure is strongly recommended
  • Consult your doctor/student health and follow their guidance
Unvaccinated and symptom free Quarantine required for 5 days
  • Learn or work* remotely if possible
  • Mask indoors for 14 days on and off campus
  • A test for COVID 3–5 days after exposure is strongly recommended
  • Watch for symptoms until 10 days after you last had close contact with someone with COVID-19.
Unvaccinated and experiencing symptoms Quarantine required for 5 days
  • Learn or work remotely* if possible and well enough to do so.
  • Inform your faculty or supervisor
  • Mask indoors on and off campus
  • A test for COVID after exposure is strongly recommended however you must complete the full 5 day quarantine even if the test is negative
  • Consult your doctor/student health and follow their guidance
Return to in-person class or work
  • It has been at least 5 days since your symptoms started
  • NO fever for the prior 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing drugs
  • Your overall illness has improved
If you test positive and are… Action and Impact
Fully Vaccinated and symptom free Isolation required for 5 days
  • Learn or work remotely* if possible
  • Contact your health provider/student health (Contact residence life if applicable)
  • Complete the e-form
  • Inform your faculty or supervisor
Return to in-person class or work 
  • It has been at least 5 days since your symptoms started
  • Your overall illness has improved and you are symptom free
  • Use a well-fitting mask for an additional 5 days
  • A negative COVID-19 antigen test is recommended prior to class or work
Fully Vaccinated and experiencing symptoms Isolation required for 5 days 
  • Learn or work remotely* if possible and if well enough to do so
  • Contact your health provider/student health (Contact residence life if applicable)
  • Complete the e-form
  • Inform your faculty or supervisor
Return to in-person class or work
  • It has been at least 5 days since your symptoms started
  • Your overall illness has improved
  • Use a well-fitting mask for an additional 5 days
  • A negative COVID-19 antigen test is recommended prior to class or work
Unvaccinated and symptom free Isolation required for 5 days
  • Learn or work remotely* if possible
  • Contact your health provider/student health (Contact residence life if applicable)
  • Complete the e-form
  • Inform your faculty or supervisor 
  • Use a well-fitting mask for an additional 5 days
Return to in-person class or work 
  • It has been at least 5 days since your test was positive
  • Use a well-fitting mask for an additional 5 days
  • A negative COVID-19 antigen test is recommended prior to RTW/RTC
Unvaccinated and experiencing symptoms Isolation required for 5 days
  • Learn or work remotely* if possible and if well enough to do so
  • Contact your health provider/student health (Contact residence life if applicable)
  • Complete the e-form
  • Inform your faculty or supervisor
Return to in-person class or work
  • It has been at least 5 days since your symptoms started
  • NO fever for the prior 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing drugs
  • Your overall illness has improved
  • Use a well-fitting mask for an additional 5 days
  • A negative COVID-19 antigen test is recommended prior to class or work.

* Remote work may not be an option for some staff positions at Pratt. Some roles require a physical presence on the campus. If you cannot work from home, Pratt will follow New York State guidance and not charge up to the first 14 days while you are following the recommended quarantine. Any time needed beyond the 14 days will require the faculty or staff member to use their accrued sick time.

Remote class and studio work may not be an option for every class or every assignment. Some classes/assignments may only be delivered with a physical presence on campus. Students should work with faculty to determine how to complete coursework for missed classes. Faculty should work with their department chairs if they are unable to attend class on workable substitutions. Pratt requires everyone to remain at home if they are ill.

Classroom Guidance for COVID-19 Cases

Provost Office Guidance for Spring ’22 Classes

Given where we are in the pandemic, unfortunately, we know that people are going to test positive. We want you to know that the Provost’s Office will do all we can to support our community.  

Remember that along with vaccination (including a booster), good mask etiquette is a major and highly effective defense against the virus.   

Remember, as well, that faculty and staff should not discuss COVID results with students. All communications and outreach will be conducted by the COVID response team:

COVID Coordination for Testing and Access – COVIDCoordination@pratt.edu

Contact Tracing – Contacttracing@pratt.edu

Health Services – Health@pratt.edu

Human Resources – Benefits@pratt.edu

Finally, the pandemic is evolving and will at some point be declared endemic. COVID-related protocols are also changing, and we expect that New York State will, again, at some point announce changes to contact tracing.  

What is the personal health protocol for a staff or faculty member who is not feeling well?

The staff or faculty member should notify Human Resources (and students should notify Health Services). The COVID Reporting Form is available to confidentially notify HR or Student Health Services about actual or potential COVID-19 cases on campus.

They will then be interviewed and anyone deemed as a close contact will be notified. If you meet the outlined criteria of close contact (read the criteria carefully), you should begin symptom monitoring, quarantine, and testing if you are not vaccinated. If you do not meet the criteria, you should monitor your symptoms and continue to practice key health habits.

What is the protocol for determining whether a class can switch to remote learning? Can instructors determine this for themselves?

All decisions about stopping in-person classes or moving a course online should be made in coordination with the department chair. The faculty member should be in touch with their chair as much in advance of class time as possible and should follow up with their chair as necessary. There could well be different solutions for different cases (e.g., they might be able to teach remotely that day, they might be able to direct students to work independently for that day’s class, or someone else might be able to cover their class, etc.).

Chairs will keep deans apprised of any shifts in teaching modality and deans will keep the Provost’s Office informed.  

Please keep in mind that our goal this semester is to offer classes in person (if they have been scheduled that way) as much as possible. Shifts to online learning, or other changes to the planned schedule, should happen only if there is truly no other option.

Additionally, shops and labs may have to close in the event of pandemic-related staffing shortages (including shortages of student workers). Therefore, opening hours may need to shift, sometimes at short notice. 

Finally, note that this way of proceeding is in alignment with guidance in the Faculty Handbook (top of p. 37), which says:

If for some valid reason the instructor cannot meet a class, the instructor should, as soon as possible, contact the department or, if necessary, the office of the appropriate dean, so that students can be notified. When appropriate and feasible, the department may identify a substitute teacher in coordination with the instructor. Substitute teachers are hired and paid by the department, not the absent instructor. Substitute teachers should normally be existing Pratt faculty members, who are compensated for substitute coverage only if they are part-time faculty.

Class sessions to be held in alternate locations must be reported to the chair’s office and the Office of the Provost in order to provide coordination of efforts in case of any emergency that may arise.

What if a faculty member learns they are positive during a class?

The faculty member should stop class at that point and cancel the rest of class. This is because the person who is delivering instruction to the class would need to leave class to isolate.

What if a student learns they are positive during a class?

The student should leave class and follow the steps on the Positive COVID-19 Case Classroom Checklist. In most cases, the class continues to run as usual and does not shift online. 

Expanding on this guidance, we note that if a student learns they are COVID positive during class, the class may continue to run because that student is not responsible for delivering instruction to the class, and not everyone (or potentially not anyone) in the room will have been a close contact of that student. Close contacts should leave the room, and if classroom conditions dictate that multiple people might be considered a close contact, as per the Actions and Impact Guide, class could be canceled for that day. Please remember that a close contact is defined as spending 10 minutes or more, within six feet, of a COVID-positive individual. You may refer to the Actions and Impact Guide for additional guidance.

Follow-up to a student learning they are positive during class time: Once the student has left class and isolated themselves, the contact tracer interviews the student and, if further clarity is needed, has a conversation with the professor. They seek to determine the day of infection (in addition to other things). In any case, the faculty member is contacted and told someone tested positive (but no student name will be given). Whoever does the contact tracing will have reviewed the roster to see who was vaccinated. Those not vaccinated need to quarantine, and faculty need to be flexible with assignments. Others don’t need to quarantine but should monitor symptoms.

For detailed classroom protocols, see the Positive COVID-19 Case Classroom Checklist.

What happens if a student cannot attend in-person classes because they have tested positive?

We do not want to penalize students who miss class because they have tested positive. Please be as flexible as you can in devising alternative assignments, revising deadlines, and developing ways for them to make up work.  

If the technological setup of the classroom allows it and if the student is well enough to attend online, it might be possible—in a few cases—to teach a given class with some students present in person and some students present online.   

What should happen if a student or faculty member is immunocompromised?

Students who are immunocompromised should contact the Learning/Access Center for an accommodation. We encourage faculty to be as flexible as they can, and we know that not all classes can be offered online or in a hyflex format (with students both online and in person during a class session). The L/AC will work with the student, Academic Advising, and the department through an interactive process to determine options and provide reasonable accommodations, including remote access when appropriate, for students who are impacted by a qualifying condition (disability). 

If a faculty member is immunocompromised, they should contact Human Resources first, and also be in touch with their chair. HR will work with their chair to develop a path forward. 

Are there plans to improve on hybrid classroom technology to mitigate potential waves of student COVID-related absences?

The IT Division has added many instructional technology capabilities since the start of the pandemic in early 2020 and continues to do so. There are currently:

BROOKLYN CAMPUS

  • 99 TEC or TEC Lite rooms
  • 19 dual screen Hyflex carts
  • 21 single screen AV rigs
  • 13 Foundation streaming stations

PMC

  • 25 TEC or TEC Lite rooms

In addition, all rooms are equipped with additional cameras and microphones for remote instruction.

Since technology needs can vary depending on the teaching situation, it is recommended that you contact the Technology Desk so that you can be assigned to a team member who can help with your exact needs. Hybrid teaching often stretches the boundaries of traditional classroom technologies, but over time we have partnered with many faculty members who have encountered similar situations. So we encourage you to work with IT to build upon this increasing body of knowledge.

If a large proportion of a class is not coming to class in person, how will we manage? 

If a number of students are unable to attend one class in person, the faculty member teaching the course should determine the best way forward and inform their chair about what is happening. If this issue is anticipated to last longer than one class, the faculty member should discuss the situation with their chair.

Classroom Checklist for COVID-19 Cases

Follow these steps if there is a positive COVID-19 case in the classroom.

Initial steps:

  • Report the positive case through the online form. If the test was performed on campus, the case does not need to be reported.
  • If the positive individual is on campus, they should leave class immediately and return to their on-campus or off-campus residence to begin isolation. They should not attend any classes or return to work until after completing their period of isolation. 
  • If the positive individual is off campus, they should not attend any classes or return to work or to pick up materials until after completing their period of isolation.

Next steps:

  • After a positive case is reported, a member of the contact tracing team will be in contact with the positive individual to determine the first onset of symptoms or date of testing positive, the period of isolation, any close contacts, time and leave for school or work, as well as any other support resources. 
  • Refer anyone in the classroom who is worried or concerned about possibly being a close contact to the Actions and Impact Guide for what to do next based on possible exposure. 
  • Be sure to notify your department chair and professors of the need to isolate or quarantine based on your COVID status.

Cleaning process:

  • Each classroom and studio space is cleaned and high-touch points disinfected each day.  High-touch points in common areas and bathrooms are disinfected twice daily.
  • After a positive case is reported, COVID Coordination notifies Facilities for additional services. Cleaning and disinfecting of the space is scheduled as soon as possible.  
  • Once the space is available, the Office of Facilities will ventilate the space and begin sanitizing all contact surfaces and high-touch points. After cleaning the room, we will disinfect the space using electrostatic sprayers to ensure all surfaces are cleaned.  
  • In spaces with sensitive equipment (i.e., computers, machines, etc.), UV disinfection will be used in lieu of electrostatic sprayers. 
  • The space will be available for use within one hour after disinfection to allow the room to ventilate.

Student, faculty, or staff concerns:

  • For health and medical concerns, follow up with Health Services at health@pratt.edu or by calling 718.399.4542.
  • For mental health concerns, follow up with Counseling Services at therapy@pratt.edu or by calling 718.687.5356.
  • For any time and leave, or medical questions or concerns, follow up with Human Resources at benefits@pratt.edu or by calling 718.636.3787.

For general inquiries regarding COVID testing times, locations, campus access, vaccinations and boosters, please call the COVID helpline at 718.687.5200.

Returning to Campus

You may return to in-person class or work after testing positive for COVID-19 if

  • It has been at least 5 days since your symptoms started
  • NO fever for the prior 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing drugs
  • Your overall illness has improved

Before you are cleared to return you must complete the COVID-19 Affidavit. This form will be shared with you via email on day 5 of isolation. You MUST complete this form to reactivate your Pratt ID and be able to return to campus.

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