COVID-19 Workplace Positive Case Protocol

This webpage outlines the required processes for supervisors and employees when someone working onsite experiences a positive case of COVID-19.

These protocols must be initiated immediately upon learning of a positive case.

 

Report Positive Test
Reporting to SAFER is strongly encouraged for individual employees, but required for supervisors.
Please follow the protocol steps in addition to reporting.

 

Employee Protocol    Supervisor Protocol

 

For guidance, email the HR COVID Response Group.

Privacy policy

 

Any written documentation related to the protocols on this webpage is confidential information and must be kept in a medical file separate from the employee’s personnel file.
 

View Privacy Guidelines (PDF)

View Retention Schedule Policy

What is a positive case?

 

For the purposes of these protocols, a positive case is if an employee experiences any of the following:

CDC COVID-19 guidelines

 

The University's positive-case protocols are based on CDC guidelines and best-practices.

 

View CDC COVID-19 Guidance

All Employees

Employee Protocols

Employees, student workers, graduate assistants/associates, and DCCs who work on-site at a campus location are required to notify their direct supervisor if they experience a positive case. Please follow these steps.

Positive Test

  Your supervisor will direct you to leave the worksite if you have not done so already.

  We strongly encourage you to report to the SAFER team to help the University conduct contact tracing.

  Document your close worksite contacts and the worksite locations that you occupied for longer than 15 minutes during the two days prior to your test results or onset of symptoms. Your supervisor will need this information.

Symptoms (But No Test Results)

  Contact your healthcare provider of choice if you have not done so already.

   Document your close worksite contacts and the worksite locations that you occupied for longer than 15 minutes during the two days prior to the onset of symptoms. Your supervisor will need this information from you.
 

 
 

Exposure/Close Contact

CDC definition: being within 6 feet of someone for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period.

 Please review the University's COVID-19 Exposure Protocol.

 
 
 
 
 

Please work with your supervisor to understand the next steps necessary for your position, help plan for if you have to quarantine, and to understand the criteria for returning to the worksite.


Returning to Worksite

You should prioritize following CDC healthcare guidance and obtaining information about work locations and close contacts. Once those steps have been completed, please review the following.

Review flexible work info
 

Guides, templates, and things to consider for setting up flexible work.
 

View the Guidelines

Review leave options
 

Resources and links to provide an overview of your leave absence options.
 

View the Leaves page

Review Family and Medical Leave

Eligible employees who are sick or caring for a family member who is sick with COVID-19 may be entitled to FMLA under certain circumstances.

View FML Employee Information

Physical return to work

If an employee is exposed to someone who tests positive, but experiences no symptoms:

The CDC recommends that employees may return to a physical worksite after (a) 7 days of fever- and symptom-free quarantine along with a negative COVID-19 test result (test must occur on day 5 or later) or (b) 10 days of fever- and symptom-free quarantine without a COVID-19 test. The CDC suggests a 14-day quarantine if feasible. Learn more about the University's COVID-19 Exposure Protocol here.
 

If an employee tests positive, but experiences no symptoms:

Employees may return to a physical worksite after 10 days of fever- and symptom-free isolation.
 

If an employee experiences symptoms that they think were caused by COVID-19, regardless of test results:

Employees may return to a physical worksite when all of the following are true:

  • They are fever-free for 24 hours (1 full day) without fever-reducing medication.

  • Other symptoms of COVID-19 are improving.

  • At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.
     

If an employee experiences symptoms that they believe may have been caused by something other than COVID-19:

In this case, we strongly encourage the employee to get tested, and for the supervisor to practice good judgement when allowing the employee to return. The CDC recommends that employees may return to a physical worksite after 7 days of fever- and symptom-free quarantine along with a negative COVID-19 test result (test must occur on day 5 or later).

Supervisors

PROTOCOL 1
Employee tests positive for COVID-19

Print this checklist (PDF)

Once you have completed all items in this checklist,
you must report the positive test and make required notifications.

Report Positive Test
Required only if an employee has a positive test

Required Notifications
Required only if an employee has a positive test

1. Remove the employee/DCC from the workplace and obtain information about close contacts.

  Ask the person to go or stay home, and encourage them to seek healthcare as needed.

  Gather work locations they occupied for more than 15 minutes during the two days prior to their positive test result and/or onset of symptoms (whichever occurred first). You will need this information for SAFER reporting and required notifications.

  Identify known close contacts in their work locations during the same time period. Close contacts are people who have been within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more during a workday, regardless of whether either person was wearing a face covering. You will need this information for SAFER reporting and required notifications.

2. Strongly encourage the employee/DCC to self-report their positive test.

  Provide the link to Campus Health’s Positive COVID-19 Test website. The website includes an online survey portal to initiate contact tracing and case investigation. Encourage the person to self-report (voluntary). Make clear that their identity and other personal/health information will be kept confidential to the fullest extent possible.

  Give the person an overview of what to expect if/when they self-report. They will be assigned a case manager, who will offer advice and help contact close contacts. Case managers are with the Student Aid for Field Epidemiology Response (SAFER) program, which has been authorized to assist with contact tracing and case investigation.

3. Explain limited disclosures that will occur.

  Open a discussion about who will need to be notified about a positive test, including the SAFER/Pima County Health Department Contact Tracing Team. Clarify when personally identifying information will and will not be disclosed.

WILL NOT be disclosed:

  • To workspace colleagues and close contacts (They will only be notified that a positive test occurred).

  • To internal campus units managing campus safety (They will only be notified that a positive test occurred).

WILL be disclosed:

  • If a workplace injury report is submitted (to Risk Management).
     

  • If consultation is needed on case management (to Human Resources).

4. Report the positive test and make required notifications.

  Report to SAFER here.

  Review required and optional notifications in the section below.


Required Notifications

These required notifications are only required if an employee tests positive for COVID-19.

1. Close Contacts.

  Notify close contacts identified by the affected employee that a positive case has been identified in their work area. DO NOT identify the employee or details of their condition.

  Advise close contacts that they will also be contacted by the SAFER program as part of their case investigation and contact tracing process.

  Advise close contacts that work areas will be cleaned and disinfected by Facilities Management.

2. Building Manager (If applicable).

  Notify the Building Manager of the positive test and the potentially affected areas in the building DO NOT identify the employee or details of their condition. The Building Manager will coordinate and follow-up with you about necessary disinfection processes and possible space closures.

  If the Building Manager is unavailable, you will need to make the following contacts.

  • Facilities Management (FM)Without identifying the affected employee, report the positive test to the FM Work Control Desk at 520-621-3000.
  • Department Head(s)Without identifying the affected employee, notify the department head(s) for the affected employee of the positive test. Department heads will coordinate notification to building occupants, Deans, and VPs.

3. Human Resources COVID Response Group (Optional).

  If you feel you need assistance, notify Human Resources by email of a positive test. DO NOT identify the employee or details of their condition. HR’s COVID Response Group can assist with process, regulatory issues, leave and return-to-work issues, and dispute resolution.

4. Risk Management Services (If applicable).

  Only if the employee likely contracted COVID-19 from a workplace exposure, report the positive test as a potential workplace injury via the online reporting portal. The affected individual must be identified in this report.

PROTOCOL 2
Employee experiences suspected COVID-19 symptoms

Print this checklist (PDF)

Please practice good judgement in your response to an employee experiencing minor coughs or sniffles and when considering enforcement of the steps in Protocol 2.
 

1. Strongly encourage testing.

 Encourage the person to contact their healthcare provider of choice (e.g. Campus Health, primary care physician, etc.) for evaluation and/or testing. If they test positive, they must immediately notify you so you can follow the instructions in the Positive Test Protocol.

2. Remove the employee/DCC from the workplace.

  Advise the employee/DCC to leave the campus workplace, and encourage them to seek healthcare as needed.

  Gather work locations they occupied for more than 15 minutes during the two days prior to their onset of symptoms.

  Identify known close contacts in their work locations during the same time period. Close contacts are people who have been within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more during a workday, regardless of whether either person was wearing a face covering.

Note: Gathering information about locations and close contacts is preemptive. It will only need to be reported if the affected individual later tests positive for COVID-19.

PROTOCOL 3
Employee has close contact with a person who tests positive for COVID-19

Print this checklist (PDF)

On-site employees.

 The CDC defines close contact as being “within 6 feet of someone for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period.” If this occurs, please review the University's COVID-19 Exposure Protocol.

  Request that the person self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms. If they develop symptoms, follow the instructions in Protocol 2 for experiencing symptoms.

  Encourage the person to contact their healthcare provider of choice (e.g. Campus Health, primary care physician, etc.) for evaluation and/or testing. If they test positive, they must immediately notify you so you can follow the instructions in Protocol 1 for a positive test.


Campus Contractors and Vendors

Because contractor and vendor personnel will also be present at University facilities, the University will have notification protocols going in both directions when a positive COVID-19 case is identified involving either contractor or University personnel. Please review the following actions and responsibilities.

  • Procurement & Contracting Services (PACS) has added new language to purchasing documents and contract templates to require vendors who work at University facilities to follow CDC guidelines.
     
  • Project managers for PD&C, FM, and others overseeing UA projects will advise all current project contractors, JOC firms, and renovation contractors, and consultants about the following University expectations.
    • The contractor shall notify the University project manager immediately about positive tests.  The notification shall include where the person worked, recent dates worked, date of onset of symptoms, and any known University personnel contacts two days prior to the onset of symptoms or receipt of a positive test (whichever occurred first).
       
  • The project manager will notify you if one of your employees may have had contact with an effected contractor or vendor employee.
     
  • If one of your employees tests positive, and they interact with contractor/vendor personnel, you shall notify any applicable project managers. Your notification should include where the individual worked, recent dates worked, dates of onset of symptoms, and any known contractor personnel contacts two days prior to the onset of symptoms or receipt of a positive test result (whichever occurred first). DO NOT identify the employee or details of their condition.   

Documents and Flowcharts

Download and print the documents referenced on this webpage.

Employee tests positive protocol (Protocol 1)

Print Protocol 1 (PDF)

Employee experiences suspected COVID-19 symptoms protocol (Protocol 2)

Print Protocol 2 (PDF)

Employee has close contact protocol (Protocol 3)

Print Protocol 3 (PDF)

Contact tracing flowchart

View Contact Tracing (PDF)

Full case notification protocol

Full Protocol Document (PDF)

Return to work after positive case

Return to Work (PDF)