ECU: Confirmed Positive COVID-19 Test of ECU Employee…now what?
Health Services: The employee and/or supervisor will notify ECU Health Services by phone (580-559-5713) immediately upon learning of the positive test. Health Services will need to be provided the following information name, contact information, and the medical facility where the employee tested.
Health Services will:
- Work with the employee to complete a Positive COVID-19 questionnaire and submit documentation of the positive test,
- Obtain a signed Authorization for Access by Patient or Disclosure of Protected Health Information release form, if needed, to inform campus entities that are affected, and
- Will relay information to the Pontotoc County Health Department who will take over contact tracing with the employee.
Health Services, will notify Employment Services and/or other departments as needed:
Employees are required to follow the guidance of Health Services, the Pontotoc County Health Department, and/or their personal physician before returning to campus. Current requirements for returning to campus after a positive test include: 10 days isolation with symptoms improving and fever free without the aid of fever reducing medication for 3 days. If the fever occurred on the 8th or 9th day in isolation, the student needs to be fever free for 72 hours without the aid of fever reducing medication.
Minimizing Exposure/Contact Tracing:
Health Services will coordinate with Pontotoc County Health Department to determine which employees and/or may have been exposed to the virus and need to take additional precautions. In addition:
- Employees who test positive for COVID-19 (using a viral test, not an antibody test) will be excluded from the ECU campus and remain in home isolation if they do not need to be hospitalized.
- When an ECU employee tests positive for COVID-19, Employment Services will work closely with Pontotoc County Health Department to determine which employees may have been exposed to COVID-19 and who may need to take additional precautions, including exclusion from work and remaining at home.
- ECU follows the Public Health Recommendations for Community-Related Exposure and instructs employees directly exposed to a positive COVID-19 case to stay home for 14 days, telework if possible, and self-monitor for symptoms.
- Based on campus need the University President may establish critical infrastructure departments on the following guidance Implementing Safety Practices for Critical Infrastructure Employees Who May Have Had Exposure to a Person with Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19.
Infected employees should follow CDC-recommended steps. Infected employees should not return to work until they have met the criteria to discontinue home isolation and have consulted with a healthcare provider. Antibody test results will not solely be used by ECU to make decisions about returning persons to the workplace.
Building and Office Space Cleaning:
In most cases, ECU will not shut down the building in which a person who tests positive with COVID-19 works. ECU may close off areas used for prolonged periods of time by the infected person.
- The infected person’s supervisor and/or Health Services will coordinate with the Physical Plant to initiate cleaning and disinfecting the exposed areas. To minimize potential exposure for Physical Plant employees to COVID-19 respiratory droplets, such employees may wait as long as 24 hours from identification of an infected person on campus to begin cleaning and disinfecting the exposed areas.
ECU will follow the CDC cleaning and disinfection recommendations including:
- Cleaning dirty surfaces with soap and water before disinfecting them.
- Disinfecting surfaces, using products that meet EPA criteria for use against SARS-Cov-2external icon, the virus that causes COVID-19, and are appropriate for the surface.
- Follow the instructions on the product labels to ensure safe and effective use of the product.
- Employees should use personal protective equipment (PPE) depending on the setting and disinfectant product used.
- If an employee is confirmed to have COVID-19, supervisors may inform fellow employees of their possible exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace but must maintain confidentiality (you cannot give or elude to the name of the person that is infected) as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
- Do not post any signs or statements on the buildings, offices, on social media about the positive test. Public notifications regarding positive COVID-19 ECU employees will only be issued by the President’s Office, Communications Office, or Employment Services.
- The President’s Office will send out weekly updates identifying the number of positive COVID-19 cases in the ECU campus community.
Sick Leave and Covid-19:
- ECU employees that are affected by COVID-19 may be able to use federal sick leave for all or a portion of their leave. Review the FFCRA law here.
- Traditional ECU leave types such as Sick Leave, Annual Leave, and FMLA may also be available depending on the case. Employment Services will make the determination when needed on a case by case basis.