Faculty/Staff COVID-19 Exposure Protocol

  1. Use of the term “exposure” herein refers to close contact with someone who has COVID-19 where “close contact” is defined as being within approximately 6 feet of the person for a total of 15 or more minutes over a 24 hour period. Employees who have been “exposed” to someone who has COVID-19:

    1. should notify their supervisor and Human Resources. Any disclosure of personal information will be kept confidential. Human Resources will advise the employee and supervisor regarding any leave issues, if appropriate.

    2. should stay home or leave work immediately.

    3. may work remotely if possible and approved by their supervisor.

  2. The Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) is responsible for conducting contact tracing for COVID-19 cases and will communicate with individuals about the need to self-isolate related to identified exposure to COVID-19. Employees who receive such communication from LDH should follow the directives received as to testing and isolation and should keep Human Resources and their supervisors informed.

  3. Regardless of contact by LDH, employees who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 and exhibit symptoms should self-isolate, contact their health care provider and inform Human Resources and their supervisor.

  4. Regardless of contact by LDH, employees who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 and who do not have symptoms should remain at home or in a comparable setting and practice social distancing for 14 days and inform Human Resources and their supervisor. They should contact their health care provider if they develop symptoms.

     

 Who needs to quarantine?

People who have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 - excluding people who have had COVID-19 within the past 3 months or who are fully vaccinated.

  • People who have tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 3 months and recovered do not have to quarantine or get tested again as long as they do not develop new symptoms.
  • People who develop symptoms again within 3 months of their first bout of COVID-19 may need to be tested again if there is no other cause identified for their symptoms.
  • People who have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 are not required to quarantine if they have been fully vaccinated against the disease and show no symptoms. 

What counts as close contact?

  • You were within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes or more. 
  • You provided care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19.
  • You had direct physical contact with the person (hugged or kissed them).
  • They sneezed, coughed, or somehow got respiratory droplets on you.

Steps to take

  • Stay home for 14 days after your last contact with a person who has COVID-19.
  • Watch for fever (100.4 F), cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19.
  • If possible, stay away from others, especially people who are at higher risk for getting very sick from COVID-19.

Options to reduce quarantine

Reducing the length of quarantine may make it easier for people to quarantine by reducing the time they cannot work. A shorter quarantine period also can lessen stress on the public health system, especially when new infections are rapidly rising.

 

Your local public health authorities make the final decisions about how long quarantine should last, based on local conditions and needs. Follow the recommendations of your local public health department if you need to quarantine. Options they will consider include stopping quarantine:

  • After day 10 without testing
  • After day 7 after receiving a negative test result (test must occur on day 5 or later)

After stopping quarantine, you should:

  • Watch for symptoms until 14 days after exposure.
  • If you have symptoms, immediately self isolate and contact your local public health authority or healthcare provider.
  • Wear a mask, stay at least 6 feet from others, wash your hands, avoid crowds, and take other steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

CDC continues to endorse quarantine for 14 days and recognizes that any quarantine shorter than 14 days balances reduced burden against a small possibility of spreading the virus. CDC will continue to evaluate new information and update recommendations as needed. See options to Reduce Quarantine for Contacts of Persons with SARS-CoV-2 Infection Using Symptom Monitoring and Diagnostic Testing for guidance on options to reduce quarantine. 

 

 

If an employee is diagnosed with COVID-19

An employee may return to work if all of these criteria are met:

1) At least 10 days have passed since symptom onset and

2) At least 24 hours have passed since resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and

3) Other symptoms have improved.

 

Note that current sick leave policies generally require employees recovering from an illness to provide a release from their health care provider to return to work.

Please review CDC guidance regarding being around people after you have had, or suspected you have had COVID-19:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/end-home-isolation.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fprevent-getting-sick%2Fwhen-its-safe.html

Also review CDC guidance on COVID-19 in the workplace:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/general-business-faq.html#Suspected-or-Confirmed-Cases-of-COVID-19-in-the-Workplace