Staff Reporting Responsibilities

The following information is contained in Circular 09 REVISED - Protocols for When A Staff Member Tests Positive For or Shows Symptoms of COVID-19

The following procedures will be used when a staff member who works on-site tests positive for or shows symptoms of COVID-19.

Scenario 1 – Howard County Health Department (HCHD) Confirms a Positive Case

  1. The HCPSS Health Services Office will follow guidance given by the HCHD personnel/contact tracer.
  2. The staff member receiving a positive test will not be permitted to return to an HCPSS building for 10 days from the date of the positive test or onset of symptoms, no longer displays COVID-like symptoms*, and has been fever-free for 24 hours without the assistance of fever-reducing medication.
  3. The HCPSS Health Services Office will assist the HCHD personnel/contact tracer in identifying and providing instructions to close contacts to quarantine for 14 days.
  4. If a quarantined staff member’s job does not require them to work on-site and they are healthy enough to do their job remotely, there is no need to take leave. If an "Employee is subject to a federal, state or local quarantine or isolation order" or "advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine" or "is experiencing symptoms and seeking a diagnosis" then they qualify for FFCRA Paid Leave and can choose to use FFCRA leave or their own accrued leave.
  5. Custodial staff at that location will be notified if there is a need for additional cleaning and disinfecting of the work location. If there is a need to close all or parts of the building, staff at that location and Office of Facilities staff will be notified and staff will also be notified when the building is cleared for re-entry.

Scenario 2 – Staff Member Confirms a Positive Case to a Supervisor

  1. Supervisor calls the School Nurse or HCPSS Health Services Office to inform them that a staff member has tested positive for COVID.
  2. The HCPSS Health Services Office will contact HCHD for confirmation. If confirmation is provided, HCPSS will follow guidance given by the HCHD personnel.
  3. The staff member receiving a positive test will not be permitted to return to an HCPSS building for 10 days from the date of the positive test or onset of symptoms, no longer displays COVID-like symptoms*, and has been fever-free for 24 hours without the assistance of fever-reducing medication.
  4. The HCPSS Health Services Office will assist the HCHD personnel/contact tracer in identifying close contacts to quarantine for 14 days.
  5. If confirmation is not able to be confirmed by HCHD at the time of the call:
    1. The staff member is asked to think of other close contacts from 48 hours from the onset of symptoms (or 48 hours before the positive test if never symptomatic) and share the other HCPSS staff members with the Health Services Office.
    2. Direction is given by the Health Services Office and/or School Nurse’s office to close contacts to follow up with their Primary Care Physician for the need to obtain a Polymerase Chain Reaction, or PCR, test to ensure reliability for COVID-19 or another diagnosis. Close contacts must not display COVID-like symptoms* and have quarantined for 14 days from exposure to other staff members before returning to their school or office.
  6. If any quarantined staff member can do their job via teleworking and they are healthy enough to do their job remotely, there is no need to take leave. If an "Employee is subject to a federal, state or local quarantine or isolation order" or "advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine" or "is experiencing symptoms and seeking a diagnosis" then they qualify for FFCRA Paid Leave and can choose to use FFCRA leave or their own accrued leave.
  7. Custodial staff at that location will be notified if there is a need for additional cleaning and disinfecting of the work location. If there is a need to close all or parts of the building, staff at that location and Office of Facilities staff will be notified and staff will also be notified when the building is cleared for re-entry.

Scenario 3 - Staff Member Showing Symptoms

  1. Supervisor contacts the School Nurse or HCPSS Health Services Office to inform them that a staff member has COVID-like symptoms.
  2. Supervisor sends the staff member home and advises them to follow up with their Primary Care Physician for the need to obtain a Polymerase Chain Reaction, or PCR, test to ensure reliability for COVID-19 or another diagnosis.
  3. Supervisor asks the staff member to think of other close contacts from 48 hours from the onset of symptoms and shares the other HCPSS staff members with the Health Services Office and/or School Nurse.
  4. Direction is given by the Health Services Office to close contacts to follow up with their Primary Care Physician for the need to obtain a PCR test for COVID-19 or another diagnosis and quarantine for 14 days from exposure to other staff member or until they are contacted by the School Nurse or Health Services Office.
  5. If any quarantined staff member can do their job via teleworking and they are healthy enough to do their job remotely, there is no need to take leave. If an "Employee is subject to a federal, state or local quarantine or isolation order" or "advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine" or "is experiencing symptoms and seeking a diagnosis" then they qualify for FFCRA Paid Leave and can choose to use FFCRA leave or their own accrued leave.
  6. If a staff member is tested with a PCR COVID-19 test and the test is negative, the close contacts may return to work, and the staff member may return to work when they are free of symptoms.
  7. If a staff member is tested and the test is positive, the close contacts need to continue to quarantine until they are not displaying symptoms and have completed the 14 day quarantine.
  8. Failure to be tested will be handled the same as a positive test where the staff member will need to isolate for 10 days from symptom onset and be fever-free for 24 hours and symptoms subsided. The close contacts need to continue to quarantine for 14 days or until they are contacted by the school nurse.

Please contact Kerrie Wagaman, Coordinator of Health Services, with any questions.

* COVID-19-like symptoms include: cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, new loss of taste or smell, fever of 100.4 degrees or higher (measured or subjective), chills or shaking chills, muscle aches, sore throat, headache, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, and congestion or runny nose.