Know your COVID-19 Terminology

July 27, 2020

If you are communicating with your unit, college or campus about fall semester and COVID-19, it’s important to understand the terms used by University and state officials when describing the disease. Here are a few common words and phrases that sometimes get misused, and may be helpful for your messages. For a comprehensive list of terms and definitions related to coronavirus, check out the CDC website.

Case
Someone who has had a confirmed positive test for COVID-19.

Close contact
Spending at least 15 minutes or more while fewer than 6 feet from someone who has a confirmed case of COVID-19 disease.

Isolation
When someone has a confirmed case of the virus and is asked by local health authorities to stay in one place away from others for a period of time.

Quarantine
When someone who has been in close contact with someone who is confirmed to have the virus, or who has signs of the disease, stays in one place away from others to avoid transmitting it to others.

Contact Christie Wells or Meagan Pierluissi for internal communications support at internalcomms@umn.edu.