COVID-19 Reporting and Response Steps
The three most important steps students, faculty and staff must take responding to possible COVID-19 cases are:
- Notify your instructors and/or supervisor
- Seek medical evaluation and get tested
- If you have one or more symptoms on the Daily Self-Assessment (e.g., fever, cough, or shortness of breath), contact your healthcare provider or the Student Health Center (SHC) at 512-245-2161 for evaluation and testing for COVID-19.
- The SHC evaluation begins with a telehealth visit with a medical provider. If the medical provider determines you need to be tested, they will advise you to come into the SHC. Tests are administered on-site and results are generally available within 48-72 hours. You should self-isolate while awaiting test results.
- Self-isolate for 10 days from the start of symptoms. Follow these CDC instructions on what it means to self-isolate. For those who have been in close contact with someone who tested positive, they must self-isolate for 14 days from the last time they saw this person.
- Students: If you need to miss class due to illness or to being in close contact with someone who tested positive, notify your instructors. If you are too ill to notify your instructors individually, you may contact the Student Emergency Services Office within the Dean of Students Office at 512-245-2124, and they can notify all your instructors on your behalf. To use this service through the DOS Office, please be prepared to share documentation from your healthcare provider. If you are a student who is also employed by Texas State, notify your supervisor as well.
- If you test positive for COVID-19 at the SHC, you will receive instructions from the SHC about isolation. People who test positive must self-isolate for 10 days from the start of symptoms. Do not return to class or your university workplace until completing your isolation period, and until you are fever-free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication, and your symptoms, including respiratory symptoms such as coughing and shortness of breath, have improved.
- If you test positive for COVID-19 at a facility other than the SHC, notify the SHC so that contact tracing can be initiated and an assessment made about the need for any other safety measures.
- If you were in close contact with someone who tested positive, even if you have no symptoms, report it to the SHC, and get tested for COVID-19. Testing is available at the SHC. Anyone who was in close contact (within 6 feet for 15 minutes) with an infected person during their infectious period (two days before symptoms started or the date of the positive test if no symptoms) should quarantine for 14 days since their last contact with the infected person, to account for the incubation period.
- If you had brief contact with someone who tested positive, you do not have to quarantine or self-isolate, but you must closely self-monitor for fever or symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days since your last contact with the infected person. For a list of COVID-19 symptoms, refer to the Daily Self-Assessment. Brief contact is contact you had with someone that does not meet the thresholds of at least 15 minutes and within 6 feet.
- CONFIDENTIALITY: Supervisors and faculty must safeguard the privacy of the infected person. Releasing the names of affected employees or students violates their privacy and confidentiality. When a positive case is reported to the SHC or local public health department, the appropriate contact tracers will notify those who came in close contact with the patient, and may request assistance from TXST employees, faculty or supervisors to obtain contact information for the exposed persons. The supervisor may share with staff that they may have been exposed to someone positive for COVID-19, but they may not disclose the name of that individual.
- The Student Health Center (SHC) is available to provide guidance to faculty and supervisors with questions. The SHC may contact you or request your assistance as part of the contact tracing process.
- Employees should notify both their supervisor and the Student Health Center if they have tested positive, or were in close contact with a positive case.
- Supervisors and faculty: If an employee or student tells you they tested positive or were in close contact with someone who tested positive, encourage them to contact the Student Health Center (SHC) if they have not already done so. The Student Health Center will work with you to notify other staff that they may have been exposed to someone positive for COVID-19 and provide guidance about either quarantine or self-monitoring.
- Supervisors and faculty: If you are notified that one of your employees has tested positive for COVID-19, the workspace the infected person utilized should be left unoccupied and untouched for 24 hours after they leave and then cleaned and disinfected with a focus on high-touch areas. Any other areas that the individual frequented while in the infectious period should be cleaned and disinfected as well. Notify the supervisor of the custodial staff that normally cleans your office space that these steps will be required. Classrooms will be cleaned and disinfected nightly.
- Employees diagnosed with COVID-19 should follow CDC-recommended steps, should use FFCRA leave (and use sick leave after FFCRA leave ends) and should not return to work until the criteria set by the healthcare provider to discontinue home isolation are met.
- Employees who are well but who have a family member at home sick with a confirmed case of COVID-19 should isolate from the member and notify their supervisor, follow CDC recommended precautions, get tested, stay at home for 14 days since last contact with the infected family member even if the test is negative, and utilize FFCRA leave (and sick leave after FFCRA leave ends).
- Employees who are caregivers for a family member with a confirmed case of COVID-19, and have frequent close contact while caring for them, should follow the CDC recommendations for Caregivers and quarantine for 14 days after last contact with the infected family member during their isolation period.
- Employees who are not ill but self-quarantined should work remotely during that period to the extent possible.
The Student Health Center (SHC) has a team of contact tracing professionals, trained using the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health COVID-19 contact tracing course, who will contact individuals who have tested positive or been exposed to a positive case.
- Contact tracing for cases diagnosed at the Student Health Center will be coordinated with the local public health authority. TXST will initiate contact tracing and work with the local public health authority to ensure that contact tracing for others outside the campus community is completed as quickly as possible.
- The Student Health Center contact tracing team members work directly with patients and those reporting a positive case or close contact to gather the necessary information to determine the infection, isolation or quarantine periods.
- Contact tracers will then contact those that may have been exposed to an infected individual, provide information on the date of exposure and instructions on subsequent steps they should take.
Visit the Roadmap homepage for a dashboard that shows the number of positive test results reported among students, faculty and staff, as well as case data for Hays and Williamson counties. (Scroll to the bottom of the Roadmap homepage for the dashboard)
Texas State is committed to balancing responsive and transparent communication with privacy and confidentiality laws including FERPA, HIPAA, and other state laws. We must safeguard all sensitive personal information, especially health information by following the “minimum necessary” and “need to know” requirements of these laws.
With a positive case of coronavirus, we focus on identifying and notifying close contacts. In some cases, we may expand that group to notify others who may have had brief but significant contact with the person who tested positive. We understand people are anxious to know all the information, but if they are not at risk and didn’t come in contact with a confirmed case, the university cannot release case information.