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 report a positive test result. Results are reported to the Secure Assessment for FSU Exposure Response (SAFER) Team via the Daily Wellness App (or COVID19@fsu.edu) and the Office of Human Resources. Additionally, any employee who is aware they have known close contact with someone who is COVID-19 positive is required to immediately notify SAFER. 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. Employees and managers should also contact HR if additional guidance is required or for special circumstances that need to be addressed immediately. 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 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.
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:
- 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.
- 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 themselves 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. They must complete the Daily Wellness App or email COVID19@fsu.edu. They cannot return to campus until cleared by the SAFER team per HR policy. SAFER will contact these employees to provide the most recent guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) about self-isolation. Employees may use their available leave during the isolation or quarantine period.
Prior to returning to work, you must receive clearance by SAFER, and the following conditions must be met:
- At least 24 hours have 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); and
- At least 10 days have passed after the date of a positive PCR test. SAFER will evaluate the details of your case and advise you on both return to community activities per the Florida Department of Health (FDOH) guidelines and FSU return to work requirements. Negative test results are not required unless specifically requested by SAFER/FDOH.
EXCEPTION: In the rare cases when people are severely ill and require hospitalization or have immunosuppression, it may be necessary to isolate for 20 days or longer. These are to be decided in close consultation with 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.
Employees will not be required to complete follow-up testing 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 Leon County Vaccine and Testing Site Finder 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.
Close Contact Assessments
Once HR is notified of an employee’s positive test result or close contact exposure, they will ensure SAFER is notified. Positive test results and close contact exposure can also be reported via the Daily Wellness App. The employee 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.
Return to Campus for Close Contacts
If you have a close contact exposure, you must report the exposure using the Daily Wellness App or the Daily Wellness Check on my.fsu.edu. You will be notified by the app if you are required to quarantine. If you are advised to quarantine, you must do so until notified by the SAFER Team that you are cleared to return to campus activities in accordance with CDC guidelines. The guidelines below are typically what is followed to determine when an employee is cleared to return to work; however, judgement calls will be made in some cases by state and local authorities.
- If fully vaccinated and no symptoms develop (asymptomatic):
- In general, fully vaccinated individuals who have been in close contact with a positive case and who are not experiencing any symptoms are not required to quarantine. A PCR test is recommended 3-5 days after exposure even if the individual does not have symptoms. The individual should wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days following exposure or until the PCR test is confirmed as negative. We advise that they closely monitor for symptoms for 14 days after exposure. If any symptoms should arise, they should quarantine, and we recommend a PCR test.
- If fully vaccinated and 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.
- Test recommended immediately due to symptoms.
For employees who have had close contact with asymptomatic individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 but have not been fully vaccinated, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides two options for 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 14 days should seek medical care and testing.
Supervisors or employees with questions related to exposure scenarios in the workplace should email HR-COVID19@fsu.edu.