COVID-19 Testing Information

Testing appointments are now available at the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center.  Employees are strongly encouraged to register for testing. Please visit the University Health Services webpage for details on registering for voluntary testing provided by the University.

Employees residing in Leon County who are seeking a clearance letter to return to campus after the resolution of COVID-19 illness, can call the Leon County Health Department COVID-19 Call Center at (850) 404-6300.

Reporting a Positive COVID-19 Test Result

Employees who submit to testing, either through the University’s testing site or external testing, are required to notify the Office of Human Resources if they receive a positive test result. Additionally, any employee who is aware they have known close contact to someone who is COVID-19 positive, is required to immediately notify the Office of Human Resources. These notifications are vital to the University's ability to respond to any workplace exposure concerns and mitigate the risk of workplace related spread of COVID-19. For faculty, contact Rebecca Peterson at rpeterson@fsu.edu; for staff, contact Tracey Pearson at tvpearson@fsu.edu.

University COVID-19 Testing

The University has implemented a voluntary testing program for all faculty and staff, including OPS employees. Testing our entire community for COVID-19 is a crucial first step in safely returning employees to campus. All employees who are reporting to campus are strongly encouraged to test for COVID-19 at the University’s testing site. The University does not intend for employees to incur any direct costs for testing. We plan for costs to be covered by an individual’s health insurance or for the University to cover the costs if an employee does not have health insurance.

Test Type

The test provided by the University is a viral COVID-19 test and NOT an antibody test. The viral test being used detects if the person is currently infected with COVID-19. The antibody test is to determine past exposure or infection. We will not be conducting antibody testing.

The University will not be using the large nasal swab you may have seen. We will be utilizing a much less invasive test. This type of test causes minimal to no discomfort.

Registering for Testing

Testing is available by appointment only. Employees must register in the COVID-19 Testing Registration Portal for a testing appointment at least one business day prior to the requested appointment time. Once registered, employees will report to the testing site located at the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center.  Additional dates will be made available as testing continues. Please visit the testing portal for available testing dates.

Testing Process Overview

The testing process consists of the following:

TEST

  1. Employee receives a notification to register for test.
  2. Employees registers for a date and time.
  3. Employee takes test at the designated testing location.

RESULTS

  • Results are expected within 72 hours.
  • Employee remains at home until test results are received (unless the employee is already working on campus).
  • Employees with negative test results are cleared to return to campus.
  • Employees with positive test results must notify the Office of Human Resources immediately. Additionally, any employee who is aware they have known close contact (see below) to someone who is COVID-19 positive, is required to immediately notify the Office of Human Resources.  For faculty, notify Rebecca Peterson at rpeterson@fsu.edu. For staff, notify Tracey Pearson at tvpearson@fsu.edu
  • The University’s SAFER team works with employees who have tested positive for COVID-19 to provide contact assessment and support.
  • Individuals with positive test results will be notified they are not cleared to return to work and need to stay in touch with the SAFER team who will let employees know when they are approved to return to campus in accordance with HR policy.

Employees Experiencing Symptoms

Do not wait for University provided testing if you have come in contact with or cared for a person diagnosed with COVID-19, or if you have experienced any COVID-19 related symptoms. Please seek the immediate attention of a primary care provider for evaluation, testing and possible medical treatment. Additionally, Employees who are ill for any reason should inform their supervisor and isolate at home. Employees who first experience symptoms in the workplace should notify their supervisor and leave the worksite immediately. Employees who believe they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms as outlined by the CDC should consult with their health care provider on any recommended testing. For employees who are ill, a CDC time-based strategy should be utilized before the employee returns to their worksite:

  • At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared, AND
  • At least 24 hours have passed since recovery, which is defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications, AND
  • Improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath)

If the employee is tested and diagnosed with COVID-19, the below procedures on Employees Not Clear to Return to Campus will apply.

Employees Not Clear to Return to Campus

Employees who test positive for COVID-19 cannot return to campus must notify HR and cannot return to campus until cleared by the SAFER team in accordance with HR policy. SAFER will reach out to these employees to provide them with the latest standard information from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) about self-isolation. Employees will also be provided other helpful workplace-related information, such as information on Emergency Paid Sick Leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).

  • At least 24 hours has passed since recovery, which is defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications;
  • Improvement in symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath);
  • At least 10 days have passed since positive test result; and
  • They provide a note from their health care provider or the county health department  indicating you should be allowed to return to work, or they provide a negative test result obtained at least 10 days from the initial positive test result in lieu of the note from their health care provider. Employees may call the Leon County Health Department COVID-19 Call Center and request a letter.  The number is (850) 404-6300 press 1. 

EXCEPTION: In the rare cases when people become severely ill and require hospitalization or have immunosuppression, it may be necessary to isolate for 20 days or longer. These are to be decided with close consultation of your treating physician.

Employees who work in healthcare facilities that are owned/operated by FSU will be required to demonstrate two negative tests that are obtained at least 24 hours apart before they are allowed to return to patient care activities based on CDC recommendations.

 

Follow-Up Testing

Employees will not be required to complete follow-up testing in order to be cleared to return to campus after a positive COVID-19 result. However, in some cases, a primary care physician may recommend additional testing.  An employee may also opt to complete testing for clearance to return to campus rather than providing a note from their health care provider as outlined above. Visit the Tallahassee Memorial testing webpage for information on testing sites in the area.

There may be other situations where follow-up testing is also appropriate, such as known workplace exposures. In these cases, the employee should coordinate with HR to schedule additional testing.

Medical Information/Confidentiality

The University will safeguard COVID-19 information and all health-related information of students and employees in accordance with applicable federal law (including FERPA and HIPAA), state law and University policies (including 4-OP-H-12 Information Privacy Policy).

Workplace Exposures

Close Contact Assessments

Once HR is notified of an employee’s positive test result, they will ensure SAFER is notified. The employee with the positive test result will be contacted by SAFER to provide a confidential review of close contacts, provide guidance for COVID-19 exposure responses, and an epidemiological assessment of any potential infection on campus

According to the CDC, for those that have not tested positive in the past 3 months, close contact is defined as:

  • You were within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 for at least 15 cumulative minutes.
  • You live with or provided care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19.
  • You had direct physical contact with the person (touched, hugged, or kissed them).
  • You shared eating or drinking utensils.
  • They sneezed, coughed, or somehow got respiratory droplets on you.

Employees with close contact with a positive COVID-19 individual should quarantine immediately and notify HR.

Return to Campus for Close Contacts

You will be notified by the SAFER Team when you are cleared to return to campus activities according to CDC guidelines.

  • If no symptoms develop (asymptomatic):
    • Maintain quarantine for 14 days from date of last exposure
    • PCR test recommended day 6-8.
      • If negative test: Continue quarantine until 14 days are completed, as COVID-19 could still develop.
      • If positive test: Begin 10 days of isolation. Begin positive case monitoring and return to campus protocol.
  • If symptoms develop at any time in the 14 days:
    • Test recommended immediately due to symptoms.
      • If negative test: Continue quarantine until 14 days are completed, as COVID-19 could still develop.
      • If positive test: Begin 10 days of isolation. Begin positive case monitoring and return to campus protocol.

Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced updated guidance for persons who have had close contact with asymptomatic individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19. The updated guidance provides two option shortened quarantine periods:

  • 10 days - If the exposed individual has maintained careful daily monitoring for symptoms and has remained symptom-free for 10 days since exposure, they may be released from quarantine AFTER 10 days (or on Day 11 since last exposure).
  • 7 days - If the exposed individual has maintained careful daily monitoring for symptoms and has remained symptom-free and receives a negative PCR test collected on day 6 or 7 after exposure, they may be released from quarantine AFTER 7 days (or on Day 8 since last exposure).

In both scenarios, individuals must adhere strictly to public health mitigation through Day 14, including correct and consistent use of a face covering, social distancing, hand hygiene, avoiding close contact and crowds, and self-monitoring for symptoms. Additionally, close contacts who develop symptoms within the 14 days should seek medical care and testing.

Tue, 12/08/2020 - 08:45 AM