Exposure Protocol | Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
students on campus

If you feel your situation needs immediate attention, please reach out to your primary care provider.  If you choose to be tested during this time, we recommend receiving a rapid test.

If you are exhibiting symptoms, have tested positive for COVID-19, or have been in close contact with someone known to have tested positive for COVID-19, remember that you are required to notify your supervisor and stay off campus until receiving follow up from the Office of Institutional Health on the appropriate self-isolation requirements.


 

COVID-19 EXPOSURE PROTOCOL

TTUHSC’s response protocol for COVID-19 follows the guidance of federal, state and local health officials. As team members (faculty, staff and residents) and students identify concerns of showing symptoms, having exposure or testing positive for COVID-19, prompt action will be taken. This includes contact tracing, notification, disinfection and self-isolation.

What to do:

Team members and students who  

  • Are exhibiting symptoms and/or have a temperature greater than 100 degrees Fahrenheit;
  • Have tested positive for COVID-19; or
  • Have had a reportable exposure (see below) with someone known to have tested positive for COVID-19;

are required to stay off campus, and:

  • Inform their supervisor or course instructor/program director; and
  • Complete the screening form and follow additional guidance from the TTUHSC Office of Institutional Health designated health surveillance unit before resuming on-campus activities.
    • The designated health surveillance unit will advise on the appropriate follow up needed including but not limited to, the need for testing, self-isolation requirements, and/or advising to contact their health care provider.

If a team member or student becomes sick after having already arrived on campus for the day, they will need to leave work, class, or their clinical rotation as soon as possible, notifying their supervisor or course instructor/program director as may be applicable.

 

This guide is for supervisors responding to reported cases (suspected or confirmed) or reportable exposures of COVID-19 from team members (faculty, staff, and residents).

A supervisor should be the first point of contact for their team members when they are impacted by COVID-19. In the event a team member self-reports that they are symptomatic through the daily self-screening process, tested positive for COVID-19, or has concerns of reportable exposure, supervisors should respond according as follows:

 

  • Advise the employee to immediately self-isolate off campus.
  • Have the team member complete the screening form for follow up and additional guidance from the TTUHSC Office of Institutional Health designated health surveillance unit.
     
    • The designated health surveillance unit will advise the team member on the appropriate follow up needed including but not limited to, the need for testing, self-isolation requirements, and/or advising to contact their health care provider. 

Do not proceed until you have received follow-up and additional guidance from the Office of Institutional Health designated health surveillance unit

  • Notify team members who have had close contact with the affected employee using the COVID-19 Supervisor Notification Templates
    • Supervisors will notify team members in their department who had close contact with the affected team members who tested positive for COVID-19 using Template #1.
    • Supervisors will notify team members in their department who did not have close contact with the affected team members who tested positive for COVID-19 using Template #2.
    • Supervisors will notify team members in their department when an affected team members had reportable exposure from another person using Template #3.

      Note: The name of the affected team member must remain confidential in these notifications. Only the designated health surveillance unit staff will disclose the name of the team member, as needed to respond to the reported case.
  • Depending on the exposure amongst the department, the designated health surveillance unit may direct that additional team members be sent off campus for self-isolation.
  • Team members without COVID-19 symptoms and who did not have a reportable exposure may continue to work as scheduled.
  • Contact Facilities and Safety Services to have the employee’s workstation and common areas cleaned.
  • In the event the affected team member who tested positive for COVID-19 works in the clinical setting with direct patient contact and it is determined a patient exposure occurred, clinical administrators will notify the patients who were potentially exposed as advised by the Institutional Health designated health surveillance unit.
  • Team members who are self-isolating may work remotely during the self-isolation period dependent upon the nature of their work and in accordance with the supervisor’s guidance.
  • If an employee cannot work remotely, the supervisor should contact their respective campus Human Resources director to determine the leave and paid status for the team member.
  • For team members who were asymptomatic, they should immediately notify their supervisor if they develop symptoms or test positive for COVID-19 during the self-isolation period.

Return to campus will be determined by the Office of Institutional Health designated health surveillance unit.  

 

Self-Isolation Due to Illness/Testing Positive for COVID-19

Team members with mild to moderate illness who are not severely immunocompromised (defined by the CDC) cannot return to campus until:

      • At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared; and,
      • At least 24 hours have passed since last fever without the use of fever-reducing medications; and,
      • Symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath) have improved.

Team members with severe to critical illness or who are severely immunocompromised (defined by the CDC) cannot return to campus until:

      • At least 20 days have passed since symptoms first appeared; and,
      • At least 24 hours have passed since last fever without the use of fever-reducing medications; and,
      • Symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath) have improved.

 

Self-Isolation Due to Exposure

TTUHSC team members who had a reportable exposure and who have no symptoms will be required to remain off campus for 14 days* unless otherwise cleared by the Office of Institutional Health designated health surveillance unit to return to campus. The Office of Institutional Health designated health surveillance unit will implement appropriate campus restrictions based on your exposure risk.

*In December 2020, the CDC issued updated guidance about the quarantine period for individuals who were exposed to COVID-19 but have not tested positive for the virus or developed symptoms. The CDC continues to advise that individuals should stay home for 14 days after their last contact with a person who has COVID-19, and TTUHSC will maintain the 14-day time period.  This time may be reduced only as determined by the Office of Institutional Health, taking into consideration current conditions and needs of the university. TTUHSC will continue to evaluate new information and update this protocol as needed.   

 

After returning to campus, team members should:

    • Adhere to hand hygiene, physical distancing and facial covering requirements; and
    • Continue to self-monitor for symptoms, conduct the required daily self-screen assessment and seek re-evaluation with the designated health surveillance unit if symptoms recur.

This guide is for course instructors/program directors responding to reported cases (suspected or confirmed) or reportable exposures of COVID-19 from students.

Often, course instructors/program directors will be the first point of contact for students when they are impacted by COVID-19. In the event a student self-reports that they are symptomatic through the daily self-screening process, tested positive for COVID-19, or has concerns of reportable exposure, course instructors/program directors should respond as follows:

 

  • Advise the student to immediately self-isolate off campus.
  • Have the student complete the screening form for follow up and additional guidance from the TTUHSC Office of Institutional Health.

    • The Office of Institutional Health will advise the student on the appropriate follow up needed including but not limited to, the need for testing, self-isolation requirements, and/or advising to contact their health care provider.

  • Notify the appropriate student affairs leader in your school.

Do not proceed until you have received follow-up and additional guidance from the Office of Institutional Health. 

  • In coordination with your school’s appropriate student affairs leader, notify students who have had close contact with the affected student using the COVID-19 Student Notification Templates.

    • Course instructors/program directors will notify students in their class/program who had close contact with the affected student who tested positive for COVID-19 using Template #1.
    • Course instructors/program directors will notify students in their class/program who did not have close contact with the affected student who tested positive for COVID-19 using Template #2.
    • Course instructors/program directors will notify students in their class/program when an affected student had reportable exposure from another person using Template #3.

      Note: The name of the affected student must remain confidential in these notifications. Only the Office of Institutional Health will disclose the name of the affected student, as needed, to respond to the reported case.
  • Depending on the exposure amongst the class/program, the Office of Institutional Health may direct that additional students be sent off campus for self-isolation.
  • Students without COVID-19 symptoms and who did not have a reportable exposure may continue to participate in classes/programs as scheduled.
  • Contact Facilities and Safety Services to have the affected classroom and common areas cleaned.
  • Students who are self-isolating will need to report their absence from class in the same manner as illness is reported.

  • If students are unable to attend classes virtually during the self-isolation period, they will need to work with the appropriate student affairs leader and/or TTUHSC Student Disability Services for follow up and additional guidance to determine options available to the student.

  • For students who were asymptomatic, they should immediately notify instructor/program director if they develop symptoms or test positive for COVID-19 during the self-isolation period.

Return to campus will be determined by the Office of Institutional Health.

 

Self-Isolation Due to Illness/Testing Positive for COVID-19

TTUHSC students with mild to moderate illness who are not severely immunocompromised (defined by the CDC) cannot return to campus until:

  • At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared; and,
  • At least 24 hours have passed since last fever without the use of fever-reducing medications; and,
  • Symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath) have improved.

TTUHSC students with severe to critical illness or who are severely immunocompromised (defined by the CDC) cannot return to campus until:

  • At least 20 days have passed since symptoms first appeared; and,
  • At least 24 hours have passed since last fever without the use of fever-reducing medications; and,
  • Symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath) have improved.


Self-Isolation Due to Exposure

TTUHSC students who had a reportable exposure (see above for exposure risks that require reporting) and who have no symptoms will be required to remain off campus for 14 days* unless otherwise cleared by the Office of Institutional Health to return to campus. The Office of Institutional Health will implement appropriate campus restrictions based on your exposure risk. 

*In December 2020, the CDC issued updated guidance about the quarantine period for individuals who were exposed to COVID-19 but have not tested positive for the virus or developed symptoms. The CDC continues to advise that individuals should stay home for 14 days after their last contact with a person who has COVID-19, and TTUHSC will maintain the 14-day time period. This time may be reduced only as determined by the Office of Institutional Health, taking into consideration current conditions and needs of the university. TTUHSC will continue to evaluate new information and update this protocol as needed.   

 

After returning to campus, students should:

  • Adhere to hand hygiene, physical distancing and facial covering requirements; and
  • Continue to self-monitor for symptoms, conduct the required daily self-screen assessment and seek re-evaluation with the Office of Institutional Health if symptoms recur.