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 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 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  

Close Contact - Someone who was within 6 feet if a confirmed COVID infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24 hour period, *starting 48 hours 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.
  3. 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 discuss with the employee’s supervisor any additional steps that need to be taken and advise how to appropriately communicate with the employee’s co-workers and the SHSU community.
    3. In the case of a close contact exposure, discusses a case by case response plan, discusses quarantine or critical infrastructure workforce options for those identified as close contacts, and recommends any changes in departmental operations for consideration of the department director and the division vice president.
    4. 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.
    5. Liaises with MARCOM and report de-identified positive test results to the SHSU community.

2. Measures to Prevent the Spread of Disease on Campus

  1. 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 infection or possible close contact.
  2. Employees and students must report positive COVID-19 cases to SHSU via the online form. The Student Health Center (SHC) response team oversees case tracking and guides individuals and departments on protocols for response and return to campus.
  3. Daily cleaning and disinfecting protocols are enhanced, and, upon notice, the University deep cleans/disinfects campus areas where an individual with a confirmed positive test result worked, studied, or lived.
  4. Upon identification of a location where an individual with a confirmed positive test result worked, studied, or lived. should be secured until deep cleaning is complete. The supervisor should have individuals vacate the contaminated area and report exposure to Facilities Management, 936-294-1869, for deep cleaning and disinfection.
  5. 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.
  6. All individuals are required to wear face coverings in all buildings on the Sam Houston State University campus, except when the person is alone in their private office, residence, or when wearing a face covering is impractical. ’Impractical’ activities include those involving strenuous activities that require unusually heavy breathing and those for which a face covering would impede performance, such as singing and other performances requiring the mouth, or eating.

    Face coverings will be required in outside campus areas where:

    • Physical distancing (6 feet or more) is NOT possible
    • Where congestion is likely and,
    • At prescribed events, including all Athletic events
  7. Social distancing of at least 6 feet should be maintained.
  8. Workspaces are continually assessed and, as necessary, modified to ensure social distancing or plexiglass shielding between workers and members of the public.
  9. 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 must do so in their residence or other off-campus location.

3. Notifications and Medical Privacy

  1. 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 may visit with Human Resources at 936-294-2637.
  2. Students who are symptomatic or medically advised to isolate or quarantine must personally notify their instructors of any physical absence and need for remote learning accommodations for the absence period. Upon receipt of such notice from a student, a faculty member shall accommodate the student’s absence and provide a remote learning option when feasible 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 return to class.
  3. 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, the 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.

4. Protocols for Infectious or Potentially Infectious Individuals

  1. Symptomatic individuals.
    1. 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
    2. A symptomatic individual
      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. 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared; and
        2. 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. Employees should consult their personal medical provider for evaluation and testing recommendations.
        2. Students should contact SHC at 936-294-1805 or their personal medical provider.
  2. Positive test results. Individuals that test positive for COVID-19 must:
    1. report the test result to SHSU via the COVID-19 reporting online form.
    2. if symptom-free and with a normal immune, isolate at home as follows until 10 days have passed from the date of the positive test and the individual has remained symptom free for the last 24 hours.
    3. if experiencing symptoms, the individual cannot return to campus until 10 days have passed and the criteria in section 4.a are satisfied.
  3. Close Contacts. Individuals with close contact exposure to a person that tested positive for COVID-19 must take the following precautions:
    1. Students must quarantine for 14 days from the date of their last contact with the positive case.
    2. Employees must, after consultation with department head
      1. quarantine at home for 14 days from the date of their last contact with the positive case.
      2. follow SHSU protocols implemented for ongoing operations of asymptomatic critical infrastructure workers in accordance with the CDC and as detailed below; and
    3. The protocol for asymptomatic critical infrastructure workers exposed to COVID-19 is as follows:
      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 must coordinate 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 wears a face covering at all times while in the workplace,
        5. the employee maintains at least a 6-foot distance from all other individuals while in the workplace, and
        6. the employee wipes down all common areas (such as break rooms and bathrooms), the employee contacts with appropriate sanitizing products provided by SHSU.
    4. If a close contact exposed individual develops any COVID-19 symptoms (see 4.a) 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.

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

  1. Notify the employee of obligations to follow these protocols to include reporting a positive case, quarantining or isolating, and requirements remain away from campus.
  2. May Contact the Student Health Center Director or by email with any questions about the departmental response to an employee’s positive test result.
  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.
  5. Be aware that 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.