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 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 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
  • 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 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 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).

  • 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
  • You 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. You 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

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 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 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 obtain a repeat test provided by the University’s testing site. 

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.

Random Testing Program

The University continues to work diligently to institute measures to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Our goal is to ensure the safety of the campus community. To meet this goal, we have launched a randomized testing program. Participation is voluntary but strongly encouraged. With your help, we can work together to stop the spread of the virus. Your assistance and cooperation with this new program are greatly appreciated.

Participant Selection

Participants are selected based on a weekly review of on-campus activity, such as card swipes, Wi-Fi access, and events. Testing invitations are then randomized into 3 main groups: students in university residence halls, students living off-campus, and faculty and staff. Participants who are randomly selected will be invited by email on Monday morning to take part in the testing program that week. The invitation contains a link to the testing registration portal. Participants should login to make an appointment at their convenience within the next 7 days. 

Testing

Testing for the randomized program is conducted at the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center. If you are an individual with a disability needing assistance, students may contact the Office of Accessibility Services and employees may contact Amber Wagner in HR. There is no cost to the participant for the test. Participants will receive an email to view their individual results in the secure test portal. Results of the randomized program will be reported to university administration in aggregate form after epidemiological review.

Questions?

For more information about testing, visit the University Health Services Testing FAQ. For questions, please contact HR-COVID19@fsu.edu

Thu, 10/22/2020 - 11:14 AM