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Important COVID-19 information for faculty and staff

Published: October 8, 2021 Author: Staff reports

Dear colleagues,

As you know, COVID Operations has been extremely busy reviewing incident reports and providing case management for OHIO community members affected by COVID-19.

Several topics repeatedly come up, indicating that clarification is needed from our office. Below I have provided information about each of these critical topics. I welcome feedback and questions.

Treat COVID-19 symptoms seriously, no matter how minor

COVID-19 symptoms mirror many symptoms of the common cold, the flu, and seasonal allergies. Anyone experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, no matter how minor, is expected to follow the COVID-19 Protocol for symptomatic individuals.

Symptomatic individuals should not utilize asymptomatic testing

For symptomatic individuals, the protocol involves contacting COVID Operations and contacting one’s primary care provider to arrange for a symptomatic COVID-19 test if the provider believes it is necessary. Symptomatic individuals should not get tested at our Vault Health or CVS asymptomatic testing centers on the Athens campus, nor should they pick up Vault Health test kits on regional campuses. There are two main reasons for this: 1) symptomatic individuals should not go to campus or to these asymptomatic testing centers, where they could potentially spread the virus; 2) symptomatic individuals need a clinical evaluation along with an order for a symptomatic test, and often need clinical case management as well, which is why it’s essential to loop in a primary care provider from the outset. 

Always complete an incident report form

Whenever you are aware of a student or colleague who has tested positive, is experiencing symptoms, or has been exposed to COVID-19, please do the following:

Only a health department can order quarantine or isolation

We get a lot of questions from people about when someone needs to quarantine or isolate. We also have heard several reports of individuals being told to quarantine or isolate by a colleague or faculty member. Quarantine or isolation orders can only be issued by a health department (COVID operations issues them on behalf of the Athens City-County Health Department). If you suspect someone needs to quarantine or isolate based on their COVID-19 status, please complete an incident report form and refer them to the COVID-19 Protocol.

Additionally, individuals can take steps to keep themselves away from others while they await test results or await formal quarantine or isolation orders. This reference guide outlines what individuals should do in various circumstances. 

We are here to help

Thank you for taking the time to review these critical aspects of COVID management on our campuses. These are areas in which you can directly play a role in helping us to control spread and keep people healthy.  

As always, the COVID Operations staff is available for consultation to assist you in managing and mitigating the impact of COVID-19 in your work. Contact us at COVIDoperations@ohio.edu or 740-566-8445. Thank you for your ongoing support of our students and one another.