COVID-19 Protocols

What do I do if I feel sick or if I have been exposed?

SHSU Preparedness and Response Plan for Coronavirus (SARS CoV-2)

Public health guidance informs SHSU decision-making in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but cannot anticipate every unique situation. SHSU will actively collaborate with public health officials to take action based on available medical information, common sense, and wise judgment to help prevent the spread of the virus within the SHSU Community.


Quarantine - the separation of a person or group of people possibly exposed to a communicable disease but not yet infected from others who have not been exposed, to prevent possible spread of the disease

Isolation - means the separation of a person or group of people known or reasonably believed to be infected with a communicable disease and potentially infectious from those who are not infected to prevent possible spread of the disease

Close Contact - 

Someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period* starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to test specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.

* Individual exposures added together over a 24-hour period (e.g., three 5-minute exposures for a total of 15 minutes).

1. Emergency Operations Committee

A. The SHSU Emergency Operations Committee is led by the SHSU Emergency Management Officer.

B. All positive COVID-19 cases should be reported to the SHSU Student Health Center (SHC) via the online form. The SHC will oversee the central collection of test results. Reporting may be initiated directly by students, faculty, staff, or supervisors.

i. Supervisors should secure the area where the person was working/residing that tested positive and contact 936-294-1869 to report a contaminated  area for deep cleaning & sanitization. This area should  remain sealed until the next working day.  

C. The Emergency Management Officer (EMO) will  collaborate with the local and regional public health officials to:

i. Review positive test results from self-reports and SHC records each business day.

ii. Request any individual with a positive test result for COVID-19 or close contact to fill out the Texas Department of State Health Services Texas Health Trace form.

iii. In the case of a positive test result of an employee, the EMO will notify the employee’s supervisor by telephone, gather additional information, and advise how to appropriately communicate with the employee’s co-workers and the SHSU community. 

iv. Discuss a case by case response plan and advise self-quarantine for those identified as close contacts or recommend a change in departmental operations to affected department director for the division vice president’s approval.

v. To the extent possible, and in accord with federal and state law, maintain confidentiality of the medical privacy and personal identity of symptomatic or tested individuals.   

vi. Liaise with MARCOM and report identified positive test results to the SHSU community.

2. Measures to Prevent the Spread of Disease at Work

A. Employees and students are informed via email, the website, and campus signage to self-monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and to seek appropriate medical attention if they suspect possible close contact.

B. Daily cleaning and disinfecting protocols are enhanced, and the university will deep clean/sanitize areas where an individual with a confirmed positive test result worked, studied, or housed. 

C. Areas identified as contaminated by an infected person should be closed until deep cleaning is completed. The supervisor should have employees vacate the contaminated area and report the contaminated location to Facilities Management, 936-294-1869, for deep cleaning and sanitization. When feasible, cleaning and disinfecting will occur after the area has been closed for 24 hours in line with Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations.

D. Hand sanitizer is available at the entrance of each building, and SHSU strongly encourages each individual to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer upon entering any building.

E. Facial coverings are required.

F. Social distancing of at least 6 feet is strongly encouraged whenever possible.

G. Workspaces are continually assessed and, as necessary, modified to ensure social distancing or plexiglass shielding between workers and members of the public.

H. Isolation Areas

i. As needed management will identify a short-term isolation area for individuals who become ill, do not have a private office, and experience a delay in promptly leaving campus (such as for arranging transport or medical care).

ii. After the use, management will notify Facilities Services to ensure the isolation area is cleaned and sanitized.

iii. Residential students required to isolate or quarantine, will follow the COVID-19 Residence Hall Infectious Disease Policy and Procedure in accordance with the Housing COVID-19 Residential Agreement.

iv. Non-residential students required to isolate or quarantine must do so in their residence or other off-campus location. 

3. Protocols for Infectious or Potentially Infectious Individuals

A. Individuals experiencing symptoms of possible COVID-19, to include:

- cough,
- shortness of breath or difficulty breathing,
- chills and/or shaking with chills,
- muscle pain,
- headache,
- sore throat,
- nasal congestion,
- new loss of taste or smell,
- nausea or vomiting,
- diarrhea,
- feeling feverish or a measured temperature of greater than or equal to 100.0

i. Must immediately remove themselves from other employees, students, or campus visitors, isolate at home.  Under CDC recommendations as of the date of this protocol update

a) An individual with mild to moderate illness, a normal immune system, and who was treated at home should not return to campus until  cleared to do so by a medical provider, or

1) 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared; and

2) the individual has not had fever without the use of fever-reducing medication for at least 24 hours; and

3) other symptoms improved.

b) An individual with severe to critical illness related to COVID-19 requiring hospitalization or with an immune system disorder may not return to campus without a written release from the individual’s medical provider.

ii. Should seek the advice of a medical professional for treatment and testing as advised:

a) Employees should consult their personal medical provider.

b) Students should contact SHC at 936-294-1805 or their personal medical provider for appropriate assistance and/or testing as advised.

iii. Notifications.

a) An employee must notify the employee’s supervisor of COVID-19 symptoms, close contact, or positive test results and discuss potential leave or telecommuting options for the period of isolation or quarantine.  Employees seeking federal leave for this time period should fill out the Request Form and visit with HR at 936-294-2637.

b) Students medically advised to isolate or quarantine must personally notify their instructors professors of the physical absence and need to participate remotely for the period the student will be away from campus.  Upon receipt of such notice from a student, a faculty member shall accommodate the student’s remote education until the student returns to the classroom (acknowledging that the specific dates of return may vary depending on exposure and symptoms). Students following this protocol do not need to provide written documentation to quarantine, isolate, or to return to class, unless a student was hospitalized or has an immune system disorder.

c) Employees in receipt of medical information must maintain the privacy of such information. Provided however, that assigned administrators may disclose:

1) Student COVID-19 test results and exposure information to the Texas Department of State Health Services, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, the student’s parents or guardians, and other appropriate parties under the health and safety exception to FERPA.  

2) Employee COVID-19 test results and exposure information to the Texas Department of State Health Services. 

B. Individuals with close contact to a person that tested positive for COVID-19

i. Upon consultation with department head and with division vice president approval must, for a period of 14 days from the last date of close contact,

a) quarantine at home, OR

b) follow any SHSU protocols implemented for ongoing operations of asymptomatic critical infrastructure workers in accordance with the CDC and as detailed in 3.E. 

ii. Should report the close contact to the Texas Health Trace website and maintain a record of the reporting confirmation.

iii. Follow the guidance in 3.A.ii and iii.

iv. If a close contact employee develops any of the symptoms noted in 3a during quarantine, the employee cannot return to work until the criteria in 3.A.i. are satisfied.

C. Individuals that have tested positive for COVID-19, and who

i. experience symptoms, must follow the isolation guidance in 3.A.

ii. do not have symptoms, must isolate at home as follows: 

a) An individual with a normal immune system who was treated at home may not return to campus until 10 days have passed from the date of the positive test and the individual has remained symptom free for the last 24 hours.  

b) An individual with an immune system disorder may not return to campus without a written release from the individual’s medical provider (please see CDC guidance for such situations).

ii. Must report the test result to SHSU via the COVID-19 reporting online form.

iii. Should report the test result to the Texas Health Trace website and maintain a record of the reporting confirmation.

iv. Must follow the notification guidance in 3.A.iii.

D. Supervisors of employees that tested positive for COVID-19 must

i. Notify the employee of obligations detailed in 3.C.

ii. Ensure SHC Director at 936-294-1843 is aware of the employee’s test result.

iii. Maintain the medical privacy of all employees. 

iv. Coordinate any notice to co-workers of potential close contact without stating the name or identifying information of the employee. 

v. An employee who is a contact of a close contact (one who did not have direct interaction with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19 or is symptomatic) may continue to work without need for quarantine or medical advice so long as the employee remains asymptomatic. 

E. Protocol for asymptomatic critical infrastructure workers exposed to COVID-19

i. When the supervisor determines an exposed staff employee may telecommute in accordance with SHSU Finance and Operations Policy ER-12, the supervisor must coordinate a Telecommuting Proposal. Faculty members should discuss remote work options for periods of quarantine with the department chair.

ii. When the supervisor determines telecommuting is not appropriate, the employee may physically report to work under the following conditions which must be maintained for a 14 day period starting with the employee’s last date of close contact to the individual that tested positive for COVID-19: 

a) The employee remains asymptomatic.

b) The employee must monitor symptoms prior to starting work each day, immediately report onset of symptoms to immediate supervisor and follow the protocols outlined in 3.A. 

c) The employee wears a face covering at all times while in the workplace.

d) The employee maintains at least a 6 foot distance from all other individuals while in the workplace.

e) The employee wipes down all common work spaces the employee contacts with appropriate sanitizing products provided by SHSU. 

iii. If developing any of the possible COVID-19 symptoms listed in 3.A. at any time, the employee must immediately report the symptoms to the employee’s supervisor and return home to isolate.