COVID-19 Workplace Positive Case Guidance

Last updated 2:00 pm MST, Sept. 21, 2022

This webpage outlines the recommended processes for supervisors and employees when someone working onsite tests positive for COVID-19.
 

Report Positive Test
Reporting to SAFER is strongly encouraged for employees and supervisors to help the University
conduct case investigation and exposure notification.

 

For additional guidance, email the HR COVID Response Group.

Privacy policy

 

Any written documentation related to the guidance 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?

 

A positive case occurs when an employee tests positive for COVID-19.

If an employee has close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19, please refer to the University’s COVID-19 Exposure Guidance.

CDC COVID-19 guidelines

 

The University's guidance is based on CDC guidelines and best-practices.

 

View CDC COVID-19 Guidance

All Employees

Employee Guidance

Based on CDC guidance, the University of Arizona recommends that employees, student workers, graduate assistants/associates, and DCCs who work on-site at a campus location follow these checklists.

Positive Test

  Leave the worksite if you have not done so already.

  Notify your direct supervisor to understand the next steps necessary for your position.

  If you tested off campus, upload your positive test result to the University's secure, HIPAA compliant system.

  Report to the SAFER team to help the University conduct case investigation and exposure notification.

  Report with the WeHealth Arizona App. Click on the "Notify" button and follow the instructions to notify close contacts anonymously. New

  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 (To share with your supervisor).

Symptoms (But No Test Results)

  Stay home if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.

  Take a COVID-19 test. You may contact a local testing center (e.g. Campus Health, Walgreens or CVS) or use an at-home test kit. You may also use the free Cats TakeAway Testing.

  If your test result is positive, refer to the Positive Test Guidance.

  If your test result is negative, then you may return to the worksite if feeling well. Otherwise, please practice good judgment when deciding to return.


Returning to Worksite

Testing options

You have multiple options for COVID-19 testing.

Leave options

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

View the Leaves page

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

The following recommendations are based on CDC guidance. They are relevant for employees who test positive, regardless of vaccination status:

  • Isolate for a minimum of 5 days*. (Review Campus Health's isolation guidance).

  • End isolation after 5 full days if fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and other symptoms have improved.

  • Continue to mask through Day 10 when around others.

  • Take an at-home or antigen test (not PCR) before discontinuing isolation. If the test result is positive, you should continue to isolate until day 10.

*Day 0 is the first day of symptoms OR the date you test positive, whichever came first.

Isolation & Re-Testing Calendar (PDF)

 

NOTE: If you have moderate illness (shortness of breath, difficulty breathing), severe illness (hospitalization) or you have a weakened immune system, we encourage you to consult with your healthcare provider and plan to isolate at least through day 10.

Supervisors

Supervisors Guidance

If your employee has been working on campus or was in direct contact with other employees, we encourage you to report the positive test and make certain notifications.

Report Positive Test
Reporting to SAFER is strongly encouraged to help the University conduct case investigation and exposure notification.

Recommended Notifications
Includes close contacts and building managers.

1. Ask the employee/DCC to leave 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 recommended 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 recommended 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 case investigation and exposure notification. 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 contacted by a case investigator, who will offer advice and help contact close contacts. Case investigators are with the Student Aid for Field Epidemiology Response (SAFER) program, which has been authorized to assist with case investigation and exposure notification through the Pima County Health Department.

3. Explain limited disclosures that will occur.

  Be clear who may be notified about a positive test, including the SAFER/local health department. 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 recommended notifications.

  Report to SAFER here.

  Review recommended notifications in the section below.


Recommended Notifications

When applicable, please follow these notification guidelines 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 may also be contacted by the SAFER program as part of the case investigation and exposure notification process.

2. Building manager

View list of building managers (PDF).

  If cleaning is desired, you must request within three days of the employee being in a University space. 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.

  If the building manager is unavailable, you may request cleaning due to a positive test from the Facilities Management Work Control Desk at 520-621-3000.

3. Human Resources COVID Response Group

  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

  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. In this case, the affected individual must be identified in this report.

Campus Contractors and Vendors

Because contractor and vendor personnel will also be present at University facilities, the University will have notification guidance going in both directions when a positive COVID-19 case is identified involving either a 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 University projects will advise all current project contractors, JOC firms, 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 affected 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.