COVID-19 Protocols

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

Updated 8/16/2021

Public health recommendations guides SHSU decision-making in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but every unique situation cannot be anticipated. SHSU will continue to actively collaborate with public health officials on mitigation strategies based on available medical information, data, and wise judgment to help prevent the spread of the virus within the SHSU Community.

Definitions:

Quarantine - the practice of separating individuals who have had close contact with someone with COVID-19 to determine whether they develop symptoms or test positive for the disease.

Isolation - the practice of separating individuals who have the COVID-19.

Close Contact - Someone who was within 6 feet of a confirmed COVID-infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period, *starting 2 days prior to symptom onset or COVID test date, if asymptomatic.

1. COVID-19 Work Group

  1. The SHSU COVID-19 Work Group is chaired by Dr. Drew Miller
  2. The Student Health Center (SHC) response team collaborates with the local and regional public health officials to:
    1. Review positive test results from self-reports and SHC records each business day.
    2. Facilitate reporting of a positive test result for COVID-19 or close contact to the Texas Department of State Health Services. The SHC response team will contact each case that is self-reported to:
      1. Interview the reporter and advise of any needed isolation protocols or determine any additional campus close contact exposures that need to be notified
      2. In the case of a positive test result of an employee who was present at work while in the window of being contagious, the SHC response team will advise Human Resources.
      3. To the extent possible, and in accord with federal and state law, maintains confidentiality of the medical privacy and personal identity of symptomatic or tested individuals.
    3. Liaises with MARCOM and report de-identified positive test results to the SHSU community.
  3. Human Resources advises employees and supervisors of responsibilities and actions necessary for management of positive test results and close contact cases identified in the workplace. Further HR advises how to appropriately communicate heath matters with the employee’s co-workers and the SHSU community while maintaining medical privacy.

2. Measures to Prevent the Spread of Disease on Campus

  1. Employees and students are informed via email, the SHSU.edu/katsafe/covid website, and campus signage, to self-monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and to seek appropriate medical attention if they suspect infection or possible close contact.
  2. Employees and students should report positive COVID-19 cases to SHSU via the online form. The Student Health Center (SHC) response team oversees case tracking and provides guidance for student response and return to campus.
  3. Exposures should be reported to Facilities Management, 936-294-1869. Upon notice, the University deep cleans/disinfects campus areas where an individual with a confirmed positive test result worked, studied, or lived. The immediate area occupied by the employee who has tested positive should be closed off and remain vacant until the deep cleaning is complete. Deep cleanings will take place after business hours.
  4. Hand sanitizer is available at the entrance of each building, and SHSU strongly encourages individuals to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer upon entering any building.
  5. Unvaccinated individuals are strongly encouraged to wear a face covering when on campus, except when the person is alone in their private or workspace (including cubicles) or on-campus residence.
  6. Unvaccinated individuals are encouraged to maintain social distance of at least 6 feet.
  7. Isolation Areas:
    1. 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 arranging transport for medical care).
    2. After use, management will notify Facilities Services to ensure the isolation area is cleaned and disinfected.
    3. 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.
    4. Non-residential students required to isolate or quarantine will do so in their permanent residence or other off-campus location.

3. Notifications and Medical Privacy

  1. An employee (regardless of vaccine status) should notify the employee’s supervisor when isolation or quarantine is recommended and discuss potential leave or telecommuting options for any periods of isolation or quarantine. Employees and supervisors may visit with Human Resources at 936-294-2637.
  2. Students who are symptomatic, test positive, or are medically advised to quarantine (regardless of vaccine status) should personally notify their instructors of any physical absence. The SHC response team will provide student with documentation for absence to share with instructors. Upon receipt of such notice, a faculty member shall accept the student’s absence as excused per current academic policy. Employees must maintain the privacy of any medical information. However, assigned administrators may disclose:
    1. Student COVID-19 test results and exposure information to the Texas Department of State Health Services, 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.

4. Protocols for Infectious or Potentially Infectious Individuals

  1. Symptomatic individuals

    Possible symptoms of COVID-19 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 degrees Fahrenheit
    1. Symptomatic individual who has not been fully vaccinated
      1. must immediately separate from other employees, students, or campus visitors, and isolate at home.
      2. when illness is mild to moderate, the individual has a normal immune system, was treated at home, and has not been tested or has not tested positive for COVID-19, must not return to campus until cleared to do so by a medical provider, or
        1. a. 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared; and
        2. b. the individual does not experience fever for 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medications and improvement of any other symptoms.
      3. should seek the advice of a medical professional for treatment and testing as advised, specifically:
        1. a. Employees should consult their personal medical provider for evaluation and testing recommendations.
        2. b. Students should contact SHC at 936-294-1805 or their personal medical provider.
    2. Symptomatic individual who has been fully vaccinated (at least 2 weeks after completing last dose of COVID-19 vaccine series)
      1. must immediately separate from other employees, students, or campus visitors, and isolate at home.
      2. should seek the advice of a medical professional for treatment and testing as advised, specifically:
        1. a. Employees should consult their personal medical provider for evaluation and testing recommendations.
        2. b. Students should contact SHC at 936-294-1805 or their personal medical provider.
  2. Positive test results

    Individuals that test positive for COVID-19

    1. report the test result to SHSU via the COVID-19 reporting online form.
    2. if symptom-free with a normal immune, isolate at home until 10 days have passed from the date of the positive test.
    3. Not return to campus until
      • 10 days have passed from when the symptoms first appeared and
      • 24 hours with not fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and
      • Other symptoms of COVID-10 are improving (loss of taste may persist for weeks or months after recovering and need not delay the end of isolation)
      • However, individuals with conditions impairing their immune systems who have tested positive should not return to campus until receiving written authorization from a medical professional.
  3. Close Contacts

    1. Individuals who are fully vaccinated with close contact exposure to a person that tested positive for COVID-19 may continue to report to work as usual if not experiencing any COVID like symptoms, but should continue monitor themselves for symptoms and immediately isolate if symptoms arise. Further, vaccinated individuals should get tested 3-5 days from the last day of exposure and consider wearing a mask around others.
    2. Individuals who are not fully vaccinated with a close contact exposure to a person that tested positive for COVID-19 should
      1. Quarantine for 14 days from the date of their last day of exposure, and
      2. See medical provider if symptoms occur.
    3. Note: Individuals who have had a confirmed COVID-19 infection within the last 90 days and are not symptomatic, do not need to quarantine.
    4. An asymptomatic employee with a close contact exposure may return to work as directed by the employee’s supervisor to follow the critical infrastructure worker protocol detailed immediately below.

5. Protocol for asymptomatic, critical infrastructure workers:

  1. Remote Work Recommended
    1. For staff employees, supervisors should approve telecommuting for the brief period of quarantine when a portion of the exposed employee’s job responsibilities can be performed remotely. When the supervisor determines an exposed staff employee may telecommute in accordance with SHSU Finance and Operations Policy ER-12, the supervisor coordinates completion of a Telecommuting Proposal.
    2. Faculty members should discuss remote work options for periods of quarantine with the department chair.
  2. When remote work or telecommuting are not appropriate, the employee may physically report to work under the following conditions:
    1. the protocol is followed for a period of 14 days starting with the employee’s last date of close contact to the individual that tested positive for COVID-19,
    2. the employee remains asymptomatic,
    3. the employee monitors symptoms prior to starting work each day, and immediately reports onset of symptoms to the employee’s supervisor and returns home to isolate,
    4. the employee maintains at least a 6-foot distance from all other individuals while in the workplace, and wearing a face covering is recommended.
    5. the employee wipes down all common areas (such as break rooms and bathrooms), the employee contacts with appropriate sanitizing products provided by SHSU.
    6. If a close contact exposed individual develops any COVID-19 symptoms (listed above) during quarantine or while operating as a critical infrastructure worker, the individual must isolate and cannot return to campus until 10 days have passed and the criteria in 4.a. are satisfied.

6. Supervisors of employees that tested positive for COVID-19:

  1. Notify the employee of obligations to follow these protocols to include reporting a positive case.
  2. May contact Human Resources at employment@shsu.edu or 936-294-2637 with questions about the departmental response to an employee’s reported symptoms, positive test result, or close contact.
  3. Maintain the medical privacy of the employee.
  4. Coordinate any notice to co-workers of potential close contact without stating the name or identifying information of the employee.