Q. How has this protocol changed?
A. Given how highly contagious the Omicron variant is, EVMS has seen a dramatic increase in the number of employees exposed to COVID-positive persons or who are developing symptoms consistent with COVID. In addition, we are aware that employees are utilizing home tests or tests in the community to protect their families better. As such, we are streamlining the protocol so that the message is simple:
- If you have had close contact with a COVID-positive person or have symptoms, you must complete the REDCap EVMS/EVMS Medical Group Exposure Survey.
- If you have tested positive with a home or community test, you must complete the exposure survey and submit the test as stated.
- Occupational Health will contact you within one business day if you are clinical and 48-72 hours if you are non-clinical.
- Any other information you need to know, testing requirements, or forms you will need to complete will be provided by Occupational Health after speaking with you.
- You cannot report to work until Occupational Health has cleared you.
Q. Does this mean I am required to go out and buy home tests or get a test elsewhere?
A. No. Nothing in the protocol requires that you purchase a home test, but we recognize that given the wide availability, many employees are purchasing home tests or going to testing locations in an added effort to keep their families safe. As such, the protocol has been changed to include those tests.
Q. Does everyone in the building who may have been near a COVID-19 positive employee need to self-quarantine?
A. No. If you had close contact with an employee who tests positive, Occupational Health will notify you, and let you know your next steps. All other persons should come to work as normal.
Q. Will EVMS notify the entire campus that an employee has symptoms or thinks they have been exposed?
A. No. EVMS as an institution has to balance the requirements of the privacy of personal health information with the need to notify employees of potential risk. In general, EVMS will not send out campus-wide communications about individual incidents determined to be low risk and will only notify individuals who have had close contact. Close contact is defined as: a) being within 6 feet of a person with confirmed COVID-19 for more than 15 minutes or b) having unprotected direct contact with infectious secretions or excretions of the person with confirmed COVID-19 where at least one of the parties is not wearing a mask.
Q. What if an employee fails to follow the protocol?
A. Unless there are extenuating circumstances, employees are required to follow the protocols outlined and could be subject to disciplinary action for not following EVMS directives, including self-monitoring, masking and distancing guidelines. See the Universal Masking Policy and Disciplinary Action PowerPoint.
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