Employees must report any confirmed or potential COVID-19 case to USU Risk Management.
Report All Confirmed COVID-19 Cases
Information about a COVID-19 case affecting a member of the USU committee (a student or employee) may come from a variety of sources: a USU employee may voluntarily report a COVID-19 diagnosis to their supervisor, an individual associated with USU may report the diagnosis via the COVID-19 questionnaire, an individual may provide the information to a co-worker or another student, or USU may learn of cases through the contact tracing efforts carried out by the local health department or other public health official.
Report to USU Risk Management
Confirm/Verify Positive COVID-19 Diagnosis
USU Risk Management will confirm the positive diagnosis by speaking directly with the diagnosed individual and/or partnering with USU Emergency Management to confirm the diagnosis with the Bear River Health Department (BRHD). Generally, BRHD will only confirm a case on USU’s campus when there is a positive diagnosis and contact tracing is needed on campus. In other cases, USU will have to rely on the individual who has been tested and/or diagnosed to share information.
USU Risk Management will initiate the following communication protocols for a confirmed case.
Administration: Risk Management will notify the President, University Marketing and Communication (UMAC), General Counsel, Emergency Management, and Human Resources (HR) of the confirmed case and the individual’s home unit.
Supervisor: If a USU employee, Risk Management will notify the employee’s immediate supervisor and dean or vice president, as appropriate.
Campus Community: UMAC will update the USU COVID-19 website to reflect current data regarding cases connected with USU. The individual’s identity will be guarded and identifying information will not be released. Information gathered about the COVID-19 case will be kept private and only shared on a need-to-know basis using USU Box.
If a USU employee, the direct supervisor and/or dean or vice president will do the following:
- Provide the employee with information about available COVID-19 Leave and how to report such leave. If the employee has additional questions, the supervisor can refer the employee to Human Resources.
- Coordinate coverage of the employee’s job responsibilities while they are self-isolating. In some cases, the employee may be well enough to continue to work remotely (and therefore, would not need to take leave). In other cases, the employee may be ill and need to utilize COVID-19 Leave and/or other forms of USU leave.
- Provide the employee with information about employee support services, including USU’s employee assistance program. Human Resources can provide additional information and answer questions about the employee assistance program, if needed.
- Ensure the privacy of the employee by deflecting any questions of specific cases, reminding others that information about COVID-19 infection is kept private.
- Consulting with Risk Management and the Office of General Counsel, the university may choose to issue a short statement to the unit notifying them that an employee has tested positive. This communication will not include any personally identifying information about the employee or student.
Coordination with Local Health Departments
USU Emergency Management is the university’s contact point for state and local health departments. Where appropriate, USU Emergency Management will report the case to the health department and/or reach out to the health department to coordinate contact tracing and other follow-up issues.
Risk Management, Emergency Management, and the contact-tracing team will work with the individual who tested positive to initiate the contact-tracing process. This process will be outlined in separate procedures but includes at minimum the following steps:
- Establish a timeline for when the individual was exposed to a positive COVID-19 case and/or when the individual’s symptoms began.
- Determine where and when the individual was at a USU location. Collect relevant information through interviews and reviewing employee symptom monitoring records, contact information records and calendars. These sites would include the employee’s worksite (office, common areas, conference rooms, etc.), the student’s classrooms and study areas (computer labs, Library, Taggart Student Center) and other campus areas like cafes, events, etc.
- Determine who the individual had close contact with when physically onsite, including co-workers, students, clients, customers, vendors, etc. Risk Management will notify those who were in close contact with the individual who tested positive and advise them to quarantine and monitor for symptoms.
Site Closure and Disinfection
If the individual was on campus while positive for COVID-19 (including 48 hours prior to positive COVID-19 diagnosis), Risk Management will evaluate whether the site(s) should be closed for a period of time (2 to 7 days) and/or extensively disinfected.
The decision on closure will consider time between confirmation of COVID-19 and when the individual was last onsite, whether there are multiple positive cases connected with the location, if there is the likelihood of significant exposure to others, and/or whether the spaces has been cleaned or disinfected since the individual was last on campus.
If the site is closed, USU Risk Management will instruct USU Key Office to turn off all access cards and then notify USU Facilities, USU Police Department and other offices involved with the space so they do not access the closed site unknowingly.
OSHA Reportable: If a USU employee contracted COVID-19 at a USU worksite, Risk Management will coordinate with USU Environmental Health and Safety to determine whether the case should be reported to UOSHA.
Debrief: The COVID-19 Employee Safety Committee will review the unit’s COVID-19 operations plan, compliance with the plan, efficiency and effectiveness of the response, and other information in order to identify gaps in the unit’s prevention efforts and response protocols.