Ohio University

OHIO outlines key COVID-19 protocols for faculty and staff

Published: September 12, 2020 Author: Staff reports

Ohio University’s Testing/Tracing/Quarantine Implementation Team has developed several COVID-19 protocols that faculty and staff must follow this fall. Comprehensive resources are available on the COVID-19 Response Protocol website.

The site provides information and required protocols for the following situations:

  • Individuals who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19
  • Individuals who have been exposed to COVID-19
  • Individuals who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 (or are diagnosed as a probable case)

In each situation, the University asks employees to follow a four-point process of:

  • Contacting the Ohio University COVID-19 Hotline
  • Getting care
  • Notifying Ohio University
  • Isolating or quarantining as advised

The COVID-19 Response Protocol website also discusses how faculty and staff should:

  • Respond to reports of COVID-19 infection or COVID-19 exposure
  • Assess or close a University classroom, learning space, office or public space
  • Use the COVID-19 incident report form, which has been created within a University system called Maxient

Ohio University’s Testing/Tracing/Quarantine Implementation Team developed the protocols with Dr. Gillian Ice, special assistant to the president for public health operations, and they were approved by Dr. Ken Johnson, chief medical officer. 

OHIO employees should be aware that three entities are involved in different aspects of executing the COVID-19 Response Protocols:

  • OhioHealth will order tests, provide regular symptom checks, and provide return-to-work/school documentation for those with symptoms, those who test positive or negative and those in quarantine.
  • The local health department completes case investigations and contact tracing. The department’s goal is to minimize spread in the community and report accurate numbers to the county and state. It is the only legal entity allowed to provide the legal orders of isolation and quarantine and release from isolation and quarantine. Regardless of where people test, the department will receive the testing information, as all testing laboratories are required by law to report positive tests. 
  • Ohio University case managers provide assistance to students and employees with successfully working or learning from home. This includes help with notifying the appropriate people (for example University Human Resources or relevant academic colleges or administrative units) about the time frame during which a student or employee cannot be on campus.

“All information shared with these three entities is confidential. Students and employees will not get in trouble for what they share with any of the three,” Dr. Ice said. “However, those who are not cooperative with the health department or Ohio University can get reported. When we share that a student or employee will be out or cleared to return, we do not share any details about their condition or how they got it.”

The COVID-19 Response Protocol website is available here: https://www.ohio.edu/coronavirus/protocol.