Potential Exposure and Diagnosis
What should I do if an employee under my supervision is diagnosed with COVID-19, showing symptoms of COVID-19, or is suspected/presumed to have COVID-19?
You should follow the COVID-19 Diagnosis/Symptoms Protocols. Remember that the employee will appreciate hearing your support while they recover from the illness.
An employee of ours has tested positive for COVID-19 or is suspected/presumed positive for COVID-19. What can I tell other employees? What actions should we take with their coworkers?
You can anticipate that other employees may have heard about, or suspect that, someone is out sick with the COVID-19 related illness, and may be concerned about it. You should inform fellow employees of their possible exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace and acknowledge that there is an individual in the unit who has tested positive for COVID-19, without identifying the individual. You may also inform employees that an assessment will be undertaken to determine if there is indication for quarantine or further notifications as a precautionary measure.
In the meantime, you should send home any potentially exposed employees (as described in Potential Exposure to Coronavirus) and instruct them to complete the Reporting Potential Exposure to COVID-19 form and to follow the Self-Quarantine protocols. Inform them that they will need to submit a Request to Return to Campus form and be approved before they can return to campus as detailed in Completion of Self-Quarantine/Isolation. See COVID-19 Diagnosis/Symptoms Protocols for list of steps to follow.
One of my employees contacted me to notify me that in doing their health self-assessment in the morning before coming to work they realized that have a fever of 101 degrees. What should I advise them to do?
The EEOC has confirmed that a supervisor can inquire into an employee’s symptoms, even if such questions are disability-related, as you would be considered to have a "reasonable belief based on objective evidence that the severe form of pandemic influenza poses a direct threat." Inquiries into an employee’s symptoms should attempt to distinguish the symptoms of COVID-19 from the common cold and the seasonal flu.
It is important to remember that you must maintain all information about employee illness as a confidential medical record in compliance with the ADA.
You may be contacted by a contact tracer who will work with the infected individual to identify and directly notify people who have been in close contact with the person testing positive.
You do not need to undergo Self-Quarantine unless notified that you were potentially exposed, but you should continue to perform a daily health assessment to be aware if any Coronavirus Symptoms develop and, if so, follow the guidance in the COVID-19 Diagnosis/Symptoms Protocols. You should also continue to follow the General Prevention and Workplace Prevention measures, such as social distancing, frequent handwashing and covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue.
If you have been in self-quarantine or self-isolation, you will not be allowed to return to work until you receive written approval following your submission of the form Request to Return to Campus form. To be considered, at least 3 days (72 hours) must have passed since recovery (defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications) and improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath) and at least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared. See Completion of Self-Quarantine/Isolation protocols for further information.
Will I be told the identity of an employee under my supervision or co-worker who is diagnosed with COVID-19?
No, individuals with confirmed cases of COVID-19 will not be identified in order to maintain confidentiality.
Employees should follow the preventive measures detailed in our Workplace Prevention guidance. Employees should also follow the protocols detailed in Return to Campus Requirements. Employees working in clinical areas will also be required to comply with site-specific protocols.
What should employees do if they get an external request for resources to help our health care community fight COVID-19?
As a public university, UH is fully supportive of this assistance where appropriate under state law. As outlined in an email to all faculty and staff April 1, it is important that all such requests be directed through Jason Smith, Vice President for Governmental Relations, so that it can be properly assessed and accounted for and so our Office of General Counsel can draft a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the University and the recipients. This step is not optional.
Please vist HR's Welcome Back to Campus webpage.
Please visit UH Travel Guidelines for the latest information.
What is the University’s position regarding off campus parties and social gatherings during the COVID-19 pandemic?
What you do while you are off campus during this pandemic can impact our University community as much as your behavior on campus. You can bring COVID-19 to campus if you do not follow the preventive measures recommended by the CDC and the State of Texas both on and off campus. Social distancing, hand washing, and wearing face coverings need to be the new normal to keep our campus community safe and healthy. It is the expectation of the University that it is a shared responsibility of each and every student, faculty and staff member to practice COVID-19 preventive measures wherever you are, whether on or off campus. It is each person's responsibility to take steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to our campus community, including staying away from parties and social gatherings where social distancing practices are not followed. University-affiliated groups, academic units, and business units are required to ensure that COVID-19 prevention requirements are followed for both on and off campus gatherings.