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What is contact tracing? 

Contact tracing is a public health tool that has been used for many years to stop the spread of infectious diseases. This is an important method for us to get ahead of the virus and limit how many people become infected with COVID-19. If you test positive, or someone you were in contact with tests positive and identifies you as someone they were around, you will be called by a MassArt Contact Tracer. In order to lessen the spread of COVID-19 and keep our community safe, it is important that you do your part and follow any instructions you receive carefully.


Isolation is for someone who has tested positive, regardless of vaccination status, and needs to immediately separate themselves so they don’t pass the virus to others, even if they do not have symptoms. Isolation is required for 10 days for the infectious period of the virus.

Quarantine is for anyone who has been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, and is therefore at higher risk to contract COVID-19. Quarantine requires you to stay home and stay separate from others for up to 14 days to decrease any possible risk of spreading the virus. Fully vaccinated individuals do not need to quarantine after an exposure due to the efficacy of vaccines, unless specifically identified by a contact tracer due to high risk of exposure. Anyone who is unvaccinated is required to quarantine.

Why is it important to isolate or quarantine? 

Even if you do not feel sick, it is still important that you do not interact with others because you could be putting them at risk. It’s estimated that approximately 40% of people are asymptomatic but can still pass the virus to someone else. Isolation and quarantine are a way to get ahead of the virus, and stop it from spreading to others. 

How does MassArt contact tracing work?

The MassArt contact tracing team is made up of six staff members who have volunteered to serve the community by taking on the responsibility of contact tracing. 

Each of these members has: 

Is contact tracing confidential? 

When our Contact Tracers reach out to the contacts of a COVID-positive person, they do not share the person’s identity. All information collected throughout the contact tracing process is confidential and no personal information -- only case data -- will be shared with the Boston Public Health Commission as is required by public health law. 

The reason for a contact tracing team within MassArt is to be sure that isolation and contact tracing can be done immediately to alert anyone who was exposed. Our Contact Tracers are able to immediately respond, without relying on the Boston Public Health Commission, which may have a 24-48 hour delay in beginning contact tracing for a new case. We know that immediate contact tracing is critical to successfully staying ahead of virus transmission, so MassArt takes the lead on contact tracing, while working closely with the Department of Public Health and Boston Public Health Commission.

What if I was around someone and later found out they tested positive? 

If you have come into contact with someone who tested positive, please reach out to the MassArt COVID Team at The inbox is closely monitored and emergency situations will be prioritized for outreach.

If you have any questions, please email