COVID-19 Exposure Scenarios and Guidance for Students and Employees

Revised March 15, 2021

The following guidance is for University of Oregon students as well as employees (faculty, OAs, classified staff, student employees), and other affiliated individuals who are accessing university property. It has been created using Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Oregon Health Authority guidelines, in collaboration with Lane County Public Health.

The university is committed to rapid contact-tracing, which may help reduce transmission of COVID-19 among members of the university community, and has created a case and contact reporting form for your use.

If you are experiencing symptoms that are concerning to you, please consult your health care provider. If you are experiencing a medical emergency call 911.

Questions about these scenarios, the definitions below or related topics may be directed as follows:

COVID-19 Exposure Scenarios and Guidance

Scenario What Should I Do? When can I return to campus?
  1. I have tested positive and am a confirmed COVID-19 case

    or

    I am a presumptive COVID-19 case.

Stay home and isolate; do not come to campus.

Complete the UO COVID-19 case and contact reporting form.

Employees: Notify your supervisor.

.

If you do not experience symptoms, you may return to campus 10 days after you were tested.

If you experience mild or moderate symptoms, you may return to campus 10 days after your symptoms began if your symptoms have improved and you have been fever-free for at least 24 hours without the help of medication.

Students: You may participate in UO classes remotely if you are well enough while isolating, and should notify your in-person course instructor of your plans.

  1. I have been in close contact with a confirmed or presumptive COVID-19 case during the period of transmissibility. I do not have any symptoms of COVID-19.

Stay home and quarantine; do not come to campus.

Complete the UO COVID-19 case and contact reporting form.

Employees: Notify your supervisor.

EXCEPTION: If you tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days, or have been fully vaccinated, you may not need to quarantine but you must continue to monitor for symptoms and stay home if you develop any. Please confirm this with the health department or your health care provider.

You may return to campus 14 days after your last known exposure to a person with COVID-19.

In cases where a local public health department is involved, the university will defer to the local public health department in their determination about whether someone is a close contact and when the quarantine period ends.

Students: If you are a student, you may participate in UO classes remotely during this time, and should notify your in-person course instructor of your plans.

  1. I have one or more symptoms of COVID-19. These symptoms are different from my baseline. I have not consulted with a health care provider and I have not been tested for COVID-19.

Stay home and isolate; do not come to campus.

Complete the UO COVID-19 case and contact reporting form.

Employees: Notify your supervisor.

Consider consulting a health care provider.

You may return to campus only after one of the following two conditions have been met:

  • It has been 10 days after your symptoms began, your symptoms have improved, and you have been fever-free for at least 24 hours without the use of medication; OR
  • HR has authorized your return based on a Return to Work Form you had a consulting physician complete. This form should be sent by you or the health care provider to HRCOVIDHelp@uoregon.edu or faxed to (541) 346-2548. You must not return to campus before HR has contacted you and your supervisor and authorized your return. Employees awaiting a response can email HRCOVIDHelp@uoregon.edu or call the HR Service Center at (541) 346-3159 to confirm that the documentation was received and is being reviewed.

Additionally, for students: You may participate in UO classes remotely if you are well enough while isolating, and should notify your in-person course instructor of your plans.

  1. I do not have any symptoms but someone in my household has tested positive for COVID-19.

Stay home; do not come to campus

Complete the UO COVID-19 case and contact reporting form.

Employees: Notify your supervisor.

EXCEPTION: If you tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days, or have been fully vaccinated, you may not need to quarantine but you must continue to monitor for symptoms and stay home if you develop any. Please confirm this with the health department or your health care provider.

Public health departments consider household contacts to be close contacts by default. As a result, you must quarantine for 14 days from the date of the last known exposure to the person in your household. That 14-day period does not begin until your household member is no longer required to isolate (see scenario 1 above regarding people who test positive for COVID-19). Because of this, you may not be able to return to campus until 24 days or more have passed.

  1. I do not have any symptoms but someone with whom I recently spent time (at work, socially, etc.) is now exhibiting symptoms of, or is being tested for, COVID-19.

Before coming to campus, you should call your local public health department or your health care provider for guidance on whether or not you are considered a close contact.

If you are found to be a close contact, see Scenario 4.

Return to campus for work or in-person classes should be determined by a local public health department, in consultation with your health care provider.

  1. Someone I have been around was recently in contact with another person who is now exhibiting symptoms. The person with whom I spent time is not exhibiting symptoms and neither am I.

You may come to campus.

Quarantine is only necessary for an individual who has been in close contact with a person positive for COVID-19.

While on campus, be sure to engage in physical distancing, carefully monitor your health, and notify your health care provider if you develop any symptoms. Employees and students are reminded to follow the symptom self-check procedures.

POST-VACCINATION SCENARIOS

Scenario What Should I Do? When can I return to campus?
  1. I received a COVID-19 vaccine within the last three days and I have symptoms associated with both the vaccine and COVID-19 (specifically, fatigue, headache, chill, muscle or joint ache, fever), and/or pain/swelling at the site of the injection. I have not been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19.

You may come to work on campus if you feel well enough to do so and after any fever has been resolved for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication.

If you are experiencing a cough, shortness of breath, or loss of taste or smell, see Scenario 8 below.

If you have a fever only: (1) Isolate at home until fever resolves. (2) Consider getting a test.

If the fever is not improving after two days or if other COVID-19 symptoms develop, stay home and isolate; do not come to campus. Consult a health care provider to be evaluated for COVID-19, which may include obtaining a COVID-19 test.

While on campus, be sure to engage in physical distancing, carefully monitor your health, and notify your health care provider if you develop any symptoms. Employees and students are reminded to follow the symptom self-check procedures.

  1. I received a dose of COVID-19 vaccine within the last three days and I have symptoms associated with COVID-19 (specifically, fever, cough, shortness of breath and/or loss of taste or smell).

Stay home and isolate; do not come to campus. Consult a health care provider to be evaluated for COVID-19, which may include obtaining a COVID-19 test.

You may return to campus only after one of the following two conditions have been met:

  • It has been 10 days after your symptoms began, your symptoms have improved, and you have been fever-free for at least 24 hours without the use of medication; OR
  • HR has authorized your return based on a Return to Work Form you had a consulting physician complete. This form should be sent by you or the health care provider to HRCOVIDHelp@uoregon.edu or faxed to (541) 346-2548. You must not return to campus before HR has contacted you and your supervisor and authorized your return. Employees awaiting a response can email HRCOVIDHelp@uoregon.edu or call the HR Service Center at (541) 346-3159 to confirm that the documentation was received and is being reviewed.

Additionally, for students: You may participate in UO classes remotely if you are well enough while isolating, and should notify your in-person course instructor of your plans.

  1. I am fully vaccinated for COVID-19 but I have one or more symptoms of COVID-19.

Stay home and isolate; do not come to campus.

Complete the UO COVID-19 case and contact reporting form.

Employees: Notify your supervisor.

You may return to campus only after one of the following two conditions have been met:

  • It has been 10 days after your symptoms began, your symptoms have improved, and you have been fever-free for at least 24 hours without the use of medication; OR
  • HR has authorized your return based on a Return to Work Form you had a consulting physician complete. This form should be sent by you or the health care provider to HRCOVIDHelp@uoregon.edu or faxed to (541) 346-2548. You must not return to campus before HR has contacted you and your supervisor and authorized your return. Employees awaiting a response can email HRCOVIDHelp@uoregon.edu or call the HR Service Center at (541) 346-3159 to confirm that the documentation was received and is being reviewed.

Additionally, for students: You may participate in UO classes remotely if you are well enough while isolating, and should notify your in-person course instructor of your plans.

Definitions and clarifications:

Close Contact — A “close contact” is defined as any individual who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period during the infected person’s period of transmissibility.

Confirmed Case — A “confirmed case” is defined by meeting confirmatory laboratory evidence for COVID-19.

Isolation — To “isolate” is to separate an individual who tests positive for COVID-19 from others in order to slow the spread of the disease. If an employee is asked to isolate at home and if the university previously authorized the employee to work remotely, and they are healthy enough to do so, then the employee may continue to work from home while isolating. The university also might authorize work-from-home if none is currently in place but work-from-home is appropriate for the work being performed.

Fully Vaccinated — A person is “fully vaccinated” two weeks after they have received all recommended doses of the COVID-19 vaccine (this varies by manufacturer).

Local Health Department — The term “local public health department” refers to the health department of the employees’ county of residence.

Period of Transmissibility — An infected person can spread COVID-19 starting from two days before they have any symptoms (or, for an asymptomatic person, two days prior to positive sample collection date (test date)) until they meet criteria for ending isolation.

Presumptive Case — A “presumptive case” is a person without a positive diagnostic test who have COVID-19-like symptoms and close contact with a laboratory confirmed case.

Quarantine — To “quarantine” is to separate an individual who has been exposed to COVID-19 from any other individuals, including others who have also been exposed. The purpose is to slow the spread of the disease by separating and restricting the movement of individuals who were exposed to minimize the exposure of others and to monitor if they become sick. Individuals who have been determined to be a close contact to someone with COVID-19 may not use a negative COVID-19 test to return to on-campus work before the 14-day quarantine is complete. If an employee is asked to quarantine at home and if the university previously authorized the employee to work remotely, then the employee may continue to work from home while in quarantine. The university also might authorize work-from-home if none is currently in place but work-from-home is appropriate for the work being performed.


Guidance for Instructors of In-Person Classes

It is essential that instructors of in-person classes actively prevent the spread of illness on campus by talking to your students about the importance of complying with safety protocols and social distancing in the classroom; modeling good behavior and offering positive reinforcement when students comply with the guidelines.

The more you can normalize and discuss these expectations with your students, the easier it will be for students to remember and comply with our safety expectations. Suggested syllabus language is also available from the Office of the Provost.

When a student notifies you that they are positive for COVID-19 or that they have been in contact with a person who is positive, please complete the COVID-19 case and contact intake form. Please have handy the student’s name, email address, UO ID number, and telephone number for them if possible, along with the location where your class meets.

This is critical information that enables the case management team—made up of staff from the Corona Corps, University Health Services, environmental health and safety and human resources—to conduct a case-by-case review, carefully assessing and responding to each situation regarding possible contacts and classroom/facilities cleaning needs. Please know that if the university believes that you need to take any action as a result of the situation in your classroom, a member of the case management team will follow up with you and provide you with clear directions.

A note about confidentiality: While a student’s health status is important information, it is also private information and should only be shared on a need-to-know basis. Please do not share information about a student’s health, including their diagnosis, with others unless directed to do so by the case management team.

Also, Lane County Public Health plays an important role in the contact tracing process and may contact you with guidance or questions. If you are directed to quarantine or isolate by Lane County Public Health or your medical provider, please notify your own supervisor and/or complete an COVID-19 case and contact intake form on your own behalf.

Instructors of in-person classes are likely to encounter one of three scenarios:

A student notifies you that they are positive for COVID-19

In general, when a student who has been attending in-person classes tests positive, we do not need to quarantine the class as long as members of the class, including the instructor, have been following the university’s regulations for face coverings and maintaining physical distance during the class’s meeting time.

The classrooms in use have been selected for their adequate ventilation and seating layouts have been modified so that students and the instructor are able to maintain at least six feet of distance between individuals. The classrooms also receive daily deep cleaning and if additional cleaning of the classroom is warranted, that will be prioritized and assigned to facilities staff.

Students and employees are expected to stay home when sick and to check themselves for symptoms before coming to campus each day.

Complete these steps for this scenario:

  • Complete the COVID-19 case and contact intake form. The case management team will respond by email or phone within one day, prioritizing as necessary depending on the situation.
  • Unless otherwise notified, you may continue teaching the class in person.
  • Be flexible with regard to assignments for the affected student who may be experiencing symptoms and who is likely to be in isolation for at least 10 days.
  • Observe the affected student’s privacy by not sharing their diagnosis or other health information with other students in the class.
  • You may issue a communication to all of your students reminding them that it is essential that everyone in class is vigilantly following expectations for face coverings—including not eating or drinking in the classroom, distancing, daily symptom self-checks, and staying home when unwell.
  • If you (the instructor) have been in close contact with this student, please follow instructions for scenario No. 3.

As mentioned previously, the university will do a case-by-case review of each situation to ensure that appropriate protocols are followed. Please know that if the university believes that you need to take any action as a result of the situation in your classroom, someone from the case management team will follow up with you and provide you with clear directions.

A student notifies you that they have been exposed to someone positive for COVID-19

It’s important to remember that the local public health department determines if a person who has been exposed to someone with COVID-19 is considered a contact. A contact is someone who has been within six feet of the positive person for 15 minutes or longer during the period of infectiousness, which is considered to begin two days before the onset of symptoms or two days before an asymptomatic person tests positive (whichever is earlier). To be conservative, this definition applies regardless of whether or not the parties are wearing face coverings.

A contact is directed to quarantine for a period of time, meaning they are not to go to work or class in person.

A person who has, or believes they have, been exposed to a positive case but has not yet been contacted by their local public health department may self-quarantine until released by the local public health department. They may proactively reach out to their local public health department for this assessment.

Complete these steps for this scenario:

  • Complete the COVID-19 case and contact intake form. The case management team will respond by email or phone within one day, prioritizing as necessary depending on the situation.
  • You may continue teaching the class in person.
  • Be flexible with regard to assignments for the affected student, who may be out for a protracted period of time. A student who has been notified by the health department that they are a contact is expected to quarantine for a period of 14 days after their last exposure to the positive person.
  • Observe the affected student’s privacy by not sharing their status with other students in the class.
  • You may issue a communication to all of your students reminding them that it is essential that everyone in class is following expectations for face coverings—including not eating or drinking in the classroom, distancing, daily symptom self-checks, staying home when unwell, good hand hygiene, face covering usage, etc.

A student is exhibiting visible symptoms of illness, such as repeated coughing or sneezing

While it is not unusual for a person to occasionally cough or sneeze, a person who is repeatedly coughing, sneezing or exhibiting other signs of illness should stay home and not come to campus for work or class.

You MAY complete these steps for this scenario:

  • Advise a student who is visibly exhibiting symptoms of illness to go home until they are symptom free.
    • Remind the student to conduct a daily symptom self-check before coming to campus.
    • Remind the student they may contact University Health Services or a regular healthcare provider to have their symptoms assessed or for treatment.
  • Issue a communication to all of your students reminding them that it is essential that everyone in class is following expectations for daily symptom self-checks and staying home when unwell.
  • Role model this behavior by not teaching in person when you have symptoms of illness.

Be prepared for your own and your students’ potential absences related to COVID-19 by building flexibility into your syllabus and assignments.