Key Terms

Close contact: being within 6 feet of a COVID-positive individual for more than 15 minutes over a 24 hour period.

Secondary contact: (also known as indirect contact) if you have been around someone who is notified of a close contact, but you were not within 6 feet of the COVID-positive individual for more than 15 minutes over a 24 hour period.

Exposure: direct close contact with the COVID-positive individual.

To learn more about the CDC's recommendations for quarantining, click here.

See additional GuideSafe™️ Exposure Notification App FAQs

The GuideSafe™ Exposure Notification App is a powerful tool in the fight against COVID-19. The app, which was developed at UAB in partnership with the Alabama Department of Public Health, protects the user’s privacy while anonymously alerting them if they have been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19.

The app facilitates anonymous self-reporting and automates alerts to individuals with previous proximity or close contact with a later positive COVID-19 person. Users of the app can anonymously share a positive COVID-19 test result —and be anonymously notified of possible previous close contact with someone who later reports a positive COVID-19 test result—without sharing anyone’s identity. The app protects your privacy while giving you the power to protect the health of yourself, your family, and your community.

The app is available to anyone in Alabama, and all members of the UAB community are strongly encouraged to download it. You will need to quarantine if you have had a close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 — defined as being within 6 feet of a COVID-positive individual for more than 15 minutes in a 24-hour period.

Only a direct close contact with the COVID-positive individual counts as an exposure requiring quarantine; if you have been around someone who is notified of a close contact (e.g., a classmate gets an exposure notification in the app), but you were not within 6 feet of the COVID-positive individual for more than 15 minutes — you do not have a confirmed close contact and do not need to quarantine. In other words, a close contact of a close contact (a secondary contact) does not count when it comes to quarantine requirements. Asymptomatic students who have had no close contact exposure to a COVID-19-positive person do not need to report a close contact exposure in Healthcheck and have no on-campus restrictions as a secondary contact.

The new UAB GuideSafe Hotline — 205-934-SAFE (7233) — has been established to give employees and students a single source for answers to common COVID-19 questions about testing, exposure, Healthcheck, isolation and more, including troubleshooting technical questions about the GuideSafe Exposure Notification App and UAB Healthcheck. Callers will be directed to Employee Health or Student Health as needed.

What are the COVID-19 Tools?

UAB Healthcheck

  • COVID-19 symptom tracker
  • Accessed via UAB app
  • Required daily
  • 15-second survey
  • Assesses risk
  • Provides risk category & guidance
  • Issues Passport

screenshot of the UAB Healthcheck

GuideSafe™ App

  • COVID-19 exposure notification
  • Download from app store
  • No daily action required
  • Notifies you of close contact with a COVID-19+ person
  • Report your results if you are COVID-19+
  • Provides quarantine timeframe
  • Anonymous

screenshot of the GuideSafe app

Click here to access the PowerPoint presentation with your BlazerID.

How It Works

1

Download the GuideSafe™️ Exposure Notification App from the App Store or Google Play, and enable Bluetooth.

2

If you have tested positive for COVID-19, you can choose to report it.

3

Simply keep the app running in the background on your phone — it will use minimal battery and data, but you will be notified if you have come in close contact with someone who tested positive and reports it in the app. If you reported a positive test, those who may have been in close contact with you in the last 14 days will be made aware they were near someone with a positive test, but they won’t know who or where. Your identity and location remain completely anonymous, and your personal information isn’t disclosed, no matter what.

Confirming "Close Contact" in the App

  • Close contact exposures can be found in the top box in the app. Click on the box to get more details about your exposure and guidance on next steps.
  • The app may send you a pop-up notification about possible exposures. Go to the app to determine if you have an exposure or close contact that requires action.
  • If you do not have a close contact logged in the top box in the app, the GuideSafe™ app has not logged a close contact for you, and you do not need to quarantine.

Have Symptoms? Been Exposed?

  • Fill out your Healthcheck and check "yes" to exposure.
  • You cannot fill out Healthcheck twice in a day. Have you filled out health check for the day?
    • Students should call Student Health Services (205-934-3580 or 205-934-3411 after-hours/weekends) for next steps.
    • Faculty and staff should fill out the Employee Health Symptom and Exposure form online.
    • Employees who are health care workers will not necessarily need to quarantine after exposures at this time and should follow the instructions of Employee Health.
  • DO NOT come to campus.
    • Students: DO NOT attend in-person class, clinical rotations or other activity until cleared by Student Health Services. Notify your course instructors or supervisor that you cannot be present.
    • Faculty and staff: DO NOT report to work until cleared by Employee Health; if you are at work, leave. Notify your supervisor that you cannot be present. Note: At this time, employees who are health care workers will not necessarily need to quarantine and will be allowed to continue to work.
    • Health care workers should continue to report to work unless otherwise instructed through Healthcheck or by Employee Health.
  • Students who have symptoms of COVID-19 or have other urgent concerns, please contact Student Health Services (205-934-3580 or 205-934-3411 after-hours/weekends).
  • Faculty and staff who have symptoms of COVID-19 or have other urgent concerns, complete Healthcheck and notify your supervisor. Remain under home isolation until you are cleared to return to work by Employee Health.
  • If you have symptoms and are going to visit a health care provider or Student Health Services, please call first and wear your face covering.

Quarantine Information

*The following applies to non-healthcare workers.

  • You will need to quarantine if you have had a close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 – defined as being within 6 feet of a COVID-positive individual for more than 15 minutes in a 24-hour period.
  • If you ARE a health care worker and have had a close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, you will not necessarily need to quarantine at this time and should follow the instructions of Employee Health.
  • If you have been around someone who is notified of a close contact but you were not within 6 feet of the COVID-positive individual for more than 15 minutes over a 24 hour period — you do not have a confirmed close contact and do not need to quarantine.
  • Asymptomatic students, faculty and staff who have had no close contact exposure to a person with COVID-19 themselves do not need to report a close contact exposure in Healthcheck and have no on-campus restrictions.
  • If you have had a close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, you will need to quarantine for 14 days after the time of the exposure.
  • The Android/Google app does the math for you and will tell you how many days you have remaining to quarantine from the time of the close contact exposure.
  • The Apple/iOS app does not do the math for you at this time; you will need to count 14 days from the date of the exposure to determine the duration of your quarantine.

Not everyone who has a close contact exposure should receive a COVID-19 test. Medical professionals in Student Health and Employee Health will determine the need for a COVID-19 test based on individual circumstances and direction from public health (e.g., Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Alabama Department of Public Health) guidance.

The GuideSafe™ Exposure Notification App is a partnership of Apple, Google, the Alabama Department of Public Health, and UAB. The unique collaboration harnesses the power of technology and UAB’s expertise to automate COVID-19 exposure notification, without sacrificing privacy.

Note: UAB IT and the app development team behind the GuideSafe™ exposure notification app are aware of potential misunderstandings related to notifications, date variances and quarantine recommendations. We are working to implement app updates that will fine-tune the user experience. App updates are expected to address these concerns. Keep your app and operating system updated on your phone so that you have the latest versions.