COVID-19 Exposure Scenarios and Guidance for Students and Employees

Revised November 3, 2021

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

Please help us reduce the spread of COVID-19 on our campus: Complete the COVID-19 case and contact reporting form as soon as possible if you are affected by COVID-19.

See below the table for definitions and clarifications of key terms and where to direct questions.

COVID-19 Exposure Scenarios and Guidance

 
 
Scenario What Should I Do?
  1. Positive for COVID-19.
    I have tested or have been confirmed positive or presumed positive by a health care provider.

    NOTE: One’s vaccination status is not relevant in this scenario.
  1. Stay home and isolate. Do not come to campus.
  2. Complete the COVID-19 case and contact reporting form.
  3. Employees: Notify your supervisor. Students: Notify your instructors so you can make up missed class work.

WHEN CAN I RETURN TO CAMPUS?

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.

  1. A vaccinated contact who has no symptoms.
    I was in close contact with someone who is a COVID case (COVID-positive) during their period of transmissibility.
    I do not have any symptoms of COVID-19.

    I am fully vaccinated.
  1. Complete the COVID-19 case and contact reporting form.
    Employees: Notify your supervisor.
  2. You are expected to monitor yourself closely for symptoms and public health recommends getting tested 3-5 days after your final exposure to the COVID-positive person. You do not need to quarantine unless you develop symptoms associated with COVID-19.

IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT HOUSEHOLD CONTACT:

Asymptomatic vaccinated close contacts do not need to quarantine even if the person who is COVID-positive is in your home and you continue to have contact with this person. In the case of a continuous exposure, testing is recommended 3-5 days after the COVID-positive person's 10-day isolation is finished but, for your own peace of mind, you may also get tested during their isolation period.

  1.  An unvaccinated or partially vaccinated contact who has no symptoms.
    I was in close contact with someone who is a COVID case (COVID-positive) during their period of transmissibility.
    I do not have any symptoms of COVID-19.

    I am NOT fully vaccinated.
  1. Stay home and quarantine. Do not come to campus. Public health recommends getting tested 3-5 days after your final exposure to the COVID-positive person.
  2. Complete the COVID-19 case and contact reporting form.
  3. Employees: Notify your supervisor. Students: Notify your instructors so you can make up missed class work.

EXCEPTION:

If you tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days, 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 before returning to campus.

WHEN CAN I RETURN TO CAMPUS?

If you are no longer in contact with the COVID-positive person: You may return to campus 14 days after your final exposure to them.

IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT HOUSEHOLD CONTACT: 

Public health departments consider household contacts to be close contacts by default. As a result, you should quarantine during your household member’s isolation period but your 14-day quarantine 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. In this case, testing is recommended 3-5 days after the 24-day period has concluded.

  1. Symptomatic but not confirmed positive for COVID-19.
    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 or been tested for COVID-19.

    NOTE: One’s vaccination status is not relevant in this scenario.
  1. Stay home. Do not come to campus
  2. Employees: Notify your supervisor. Students: Notify your instructors so you can make up missed class work.
  3. Consider consulting a health care provider.

WHEN CAN I RETURN TO CAMPUS?

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

  1. Your symptoms* are resolving and you have been fever-free for at least 24 hours; AND
  2. You obtain a negative PCR or NAAT COVID-19 test. (Home tests do not meet this requirement); OR
  3. Your health care provider clears you to work; OR
  4. It has been 10 days since the onset of symptoms, your symptoms have improved, and you are fever-free.

Employees: You are no longer required to complete a Return to Work Form. Instead you should tell your supervisor when your symptoms are resolving, you have received a negative PCR or NAAT COVID-19 test, and you are ready to return to work on campus. The university reserves the right to request proof of the negative COVID-19 test.

Important Exception: 

If you have a recent known COVID-19 exposure and one or more COVID-19 cardinal symptoms (*shortness of breath, cough, fever, or new loss of smell or taste), you may not return to campus for 10 days after symptom onset regardless of test result.

Testing:

If your symptoms have resolved, you may use the UO’s MAP testing program, which is free.

Students: if you have mild viral symptoms and do not need a medical evaluation you can pick up a self-directed kit for COVID-19 through University Health Services. No appointments are needed to pick up these kits. Kits are available Monday-Fridays from 9:00 am-5:00 pm. If you have viral symptoms and are unsure whether you need a medical evaluation, contact University Health Services at 541-346-2770 or your health care provider to determine if and where you should to be tested.

  1. Contact with someone who has symptoms and not fully vaccinated.
    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.

    I am NOT fully vaccinated.

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 3.

You may also get a COVID-19 test.

WHEN CAN I RETURN TO CAMPUS?

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. Contact of a contact.
    Someone I have been around was recently in contact with another person who is now exhibiting symptoms or who now has COVID-19. 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 unvaccinated individual who has been in close contact with a person positive for COVID-19.

  1. Recently vaccinated and symptomatic.

    I received a COVID-19 vaccine within the last three days and I have symptoms associated with the vaccine (specifically, fatigue, headache, chill, muscle or joint ache, fever), and/or pain/swelling at the site of the injection. To my knowledge, I have not been in close contact with anyone who has COVID-19.

You may come to work or class 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.

However, if you are also experiencing a cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, or loss of taste or smell, see Scenario 4 above.

If you have a fever only: (1) Isolate at home until fever resolves. (2) Consider getting a PCR COVID-19 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.

Questions:

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. 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.

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

Isolate — 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 a COVID-19 vaccine (this varies by manufacturer).

Local public health department — The term “local public health department” refers to the health department of the affected person’s county of residence.

Period of transmissibility — The "period of transmissibility" is the time frame 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 positive — A “presumptive positive” or “presumptive case” describes a person who, without a positive diagnostic test, is deemed positive for COVID-19 by a health care provider or public health department as a result of having COVID-like symptoms and having been in 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.

Symptomatic — A person who has any of the following symptoms associated with COVID-19, when they are different from one’s baseline, is considered "symptomatic": Fever or chills, cough, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.