New testing appointments are now available beginning July 30, 2020. Testing will be available from August 5 – August 23 at the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center. Employees who have not been tested for COVID-19 are encouraged to do so.
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 drive-through 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 firstname.lastname@example.org; for staff, contact Tracey Pearson at email@example.com.
University COVID-19 Testing
The University is implementing a voluntary return to work 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 return to campus are strongly encouraged to test for COVID-19 at the University’s drive-through 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.
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. Walk-up testing options will be available in the registration portal for employees who do not have access to a vehicle. 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:
- Employee receives a notification to register for test.
- Employees registers for a date and time.
- Employee takes test at the designated testing location.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. For staff, notify Tracey Pearson at email@example.com.
- A workplace exposure assessment will be conducted (see below) for any positive test results.
- Individuals with positive test results will be notified they are not cleared to return to work and steps will be taken as outlined below.
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 3 days (72 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 until cleared by the Office of Human Resources (HR). HR 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).
To receive clearance to return to campus, employees must meet the following conditions:
- They remain off campus at least 10 days after the date a positive test is obtained, and;
- They have been without fever for at least 24 hours (while not taking fever-reducing meds such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen), and any symptoms are markedly reduced, and;
- They provide a note from their health care provider or the county health department indicating they 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 residing in Leon County can call the Leon County Health Department COVID-19 Call Center and request a letter at (850) 404-6300, then press 1.
There is an exception for employees who work in healthcare facilities that are owned/operated by FSU. Employees in these facilities 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.
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.
Initial voluntary testing provided by the University is offered to all employees. However, additional follow-up testing is not automatically provided, except for as authorized by HR in consultation with the University’s COVID-19 Medical Advisory Committee (MAC).
Workplace Exposure (Close Contact) Assessments
Once HR is notified of an employee’s positive test result, a Workplace Exposure Assessment will be conducted. Employees who test positive will be contacted by HR to determine the last date the employee was on campus, what locations they were in, and whether they were in close contact with individuals in the workplace. The CDC defines close contact as:
- You were within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 for at least consecutive 15 minutes.
- You 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 who have been exposed to a COVID-19 positive individual through close contact in the workplace, regardless of symptoms, will be contacted by HR to discuss workplace exposure protocols and applicable guidance from the CDC. HR will not disclose the identity of the individual who tested positive.
During the workplace exposure assessment process, if it is determined that close contact has occurred, the following will occur:
- The exposed individual must leave work and begin 14 days of quarantine as per CDC guidelines.
- The exposed individual will be required to self-monitor their symptoms and temperature daily. They must follow all guidelines for safeguarding against the spread of COVID-19, including face coverings, social distancing, hand washing, etc.
- Supervisors should both expect/allow for 14-day quarantine as needed AND should NOT REQUIRE repeat testing after possible close contact.
- The CDC recommends that all close contacts of persons with COVID-19 get tested. However, the 14-day quarantine must be maintained even with a negative test result due to the potential for false negatives after recent exposures.
- The exposed employee may choose to be tested. If so, HR will provide the individual with information that explains: 1) risks of early false negatives, 2) the importance of quarantine regardless of test results, and 3) information on timing between exposure and testing. With this information, we will allow the person to request and obtain a single repeat test provided by the University’s Drive-Through Testing.
It is important to note that HR does not conduct official contact tracing. All contact tracing is conducted by the Florida Department of Health.
Notification of Workplace Exposures
As HR conducts the Workplace Exposure Assessment, they will notify employees directly of any significant exposure risk. As mentioned above, HR will not disclose the identity of the individual who tested positive. If there is a need for an employee to self-quarantine due to close contact, HR will notify the supervisor. All potential workplace exposure assessments are handled on a case-by-case basis and will not automatically result in notification to an entire department or building.
In the event there is a concern about a potential outbreak in a specific area, HR will work with the Medical Advisory Committee to confirm if an outbreak has occurred. If it is determined by HR and MAC that an outbreak has occurred, departments, or those in the building of the exposure risk, will be notified. Supervisors and departments should not notify anyone without explicit approval from HR. The University will identify if facilities require enhanced cleaning and disinfection per University protocols and CDC and EPA guidelines.