Prevention and Management of COVID on the LSUHSC Campuses

Guidelines Updated on December 15, 2020

Preventive Measures

  • Preventing the spread of infection is everyone’s responsibility.  It is our best defense against COVID.  Wearing masks, physical distancing and good hand hygiene are required of all students, employees and contract workers on campus.  Appropriate quarantine after exposure to or infection with COVID is also important to campus safety.  We will continue to require these preventive measures even after vaccination against COVID.  A combination of all preventive measures will ultimately be required to end the pandemic.
     
  • Masks: LSUHSC requires that masks be worn properly (covering the nose and mouth) in all public settings on campus (unless one is eating).  The CDC and LSUHSC recommend that masks be worn at all times except while you are in your own home.
     
  • Physical Distancing: Appropriate physical distancing is to maintain a minimum of 6 feet between you and the person with whom you are talking.   There is evidence that the virus can travel further than 6 feet, so even greater distances are safer.  This is especially important while eating and masks are off.  Rooms on campus have occupancy limits posted on the doorway.  We urge everyone to maintain at least 6 feet apart even if the room is not at its occupancy limit.  We have found that break rooms are a place where many employees do not adhere to physical distancing.  
     
  • Quarantine: LSUHSC requires all students and employees to isolate themselves from campus and report if they develop symptoms of COVID, have a positive COVID test, or have a possible exposure to COVID.  Reporting should be done as follows:
    • You should contact the Campus Health Clinic at 478 South Johnson Street (504-412-1995) so they can ensure help ensure that you are taking proper precautions and can let you know when it is safe for you to return to work.  The clinic will also answer your other questions related to symptoms, exposure, quarantine, and test results.
    • On-line reporting forms can be found at this link: LSUHSC online self-reporting platforms.  Employees and students who have had a positive or presumptive positive COVID test at a site other than our campus testing center should report it using the COVID-19 Positive Test Form.  This will be monitored by contact tracers in the School of Public Health so that close contacts can be identified and quarantined.  Additionally, students should fill out the Student Self-isolation Form if they are in quarantine for any reason (positive test, the presence of symptoms, or an exposure to someone with COVID-19).
    • We also ask that you notify your supervisor.  Your supervisor can facilitate notifying other people that you may have exposed, and getting your work area disinfected if necessary.  The sooner we do those things, the safer the campus will be.  Supervisors can also call the Campus Health Clinic (504-412-1995) if they have questions.  Students and employees who have had a moderate-to-high risk exposure to COVID (as determined by contact tracers or the Campus Health Clinic) will be required to quarantine from campus for a duration specified below under Moderate to High Risk Exposure.
       
  • Group activity on Campus: We are continually monitoring community spread and the local, regional and national recommendations regarding restrictions in group activity.  Meetings should utilize virtual platforms, except when necessary for essential business purposes.  Classes should utilize virtual platforms to the extent possible, unless a virtual platform would detract significantly from the learning objectives.  If it is necessary to have on campus classes and meetings, strict adherence to physical distancing and appropriate wearing of masks is required.  Most rooms on campus can only hold far fewer than 50 people with appropriate distancing.  Campus restrictions will be revised as disease activity and recommendations change. 
     
  • Disinfection of the Workplace: If an employee tests positive, is considered infectious, and has been on campus within the past three days, Deans, Department Heads or Directors should contact Mr. John Ball, Associate Vice Chancellor for Property and Facilities (jball@lsuhsc.edu).  The Environmental Health and Safety Office will determine the need for disinfection and coordinate disinfection with the Dean or Department Head.  Supervisors will notify others on the floor or in the area that a potential exposure has occurred, and the necessary areas will be closed for cleaning.
    • Signage will be posted to indicate the area is closed
    • An approved contractor will disinfect by a combination of fogging and/or wiping with a CDC/FDA approved disinfectant.
    • The Dean or Department Head will be notified when the disinfection is complete.
    • Employees can return to work at a minimum of two hours after disinfection (plates and utensils that may have been exposed should be washed before use).

 

Management of Employees/Students with COVID or Exposure to COVID

 

What should you do if you have symptoms and a positive COVID PCR test

  • LSUHSC requires that you self-report using both the online reporting system (LSUHSC online self-reporting platforms) and by calling the Campus Health Clinic (504 412-1995).
  • Do not come to work or school.  Isolation from campus is required.
  • LSUHSC also recommends that you self-isolate at home (follow CDC guidance about household prevention)
  • Seek medical care if needed
  • In addition to notifying the Campus Health Clinic and reporting on-line, LSUHSC encourages you to notify your supervisor so that we can begin isolating colleagues that you may have exposed and have your workspace cleaned if necessary.  You and your supervisor can also discuss leave policies.
  • The Campus Health Clinic will ask about symptoms and their date of onset, help determine whether you should seek medical care, and decide when you can return to work.
  • The online report you file will go to a contact tracing office in the School of Public Health.  They will determine if you placed other campus personnel at moderate-to-high risk of infection in the 48 hours prior to symptom onset. Moderate risk exposures include conversations at less than 6 feet distance for a total of 15 minutes or longer within a 24-hour period regardless of mask use.
  • Clearance to return to campus will be determined by Campus Health using CDC guidelines:
    • LSUHSC requires you to remain quarantined from campus for at least 10 days from symptom onset and until there has been considerable improvement in other symptoms and until you have had no fever for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medicines.
    • If you are hospitalized or immunocompromised, you must remain in quarantine for at least 20 days since symptom onset, absence of  fever for 24 hours without fever-reducing medicines and improvement of other symptoms

We do not recommend repeat testing, as the test is likely to remain positive for several weeks after infection.  Your test may remain positive even after you are no longer infectious to others.

 

What should you do if you are symptomatic but have not had a COVID test  

  • LSUHSC requires that you self-report by calling the Campus Health Clinic (504 412-1995).
  • Do not come to work or school.  Isolation from campus is required.
  • LSUHSC also recommends that you self-isolate at home (follow CDC guidance about household prevention)
  • Seek medical care if needed
  • Students should also use the online self-isolation reporting form (LSUHSC online self-reporting platforms) in addition to notifying the Campus Health Clinic (504 412-1995).
  • We encourage students and employees to notify their supervisors about any possible COVID symptoms, to discuss whether or not you have had close contacts that will require quarantine if you test positive.  You and your supervisor can also discuss leave policies.
  • Call Campus Health Clinic about symptoms and the date of symptom onset.  They will encourage you to get tested, help you determine whether you should seek medical care, and determine when you can return to work.
  • Campus Health will recommend a COVID PCR test to confirm the diagnosis and initiate contact tracing to determine if there were moderate-to-high risk exposures to other campus personnel beginning 48 hours prior to symptom onset.  Moderate-to-high risk exposures include conversations at less than 6 feet distance for a total of 15 minutes or longer within a 24-hour period regardless of mask use.
    • If test is negative or was not performed and there is low suspicion for COVID as determined on follow-up with the Campus Health Clinic, then you may return to campus when symptoms resolve.
    • If test is negative or was not performed and there is high suspicion for COVID as determined on follow-up with the Campus Health Clinic, or if test is positive, then return to campus
      • At least 10 days since symptom onset, absence fever for 24 hours without fever-reducing medicines, and improvement of other symptoms
      • If hospitalized or immunocompromised, at least 20 days since symptom onset, absence of fever for 24 hours without fever-reducing medicines and improvement of other symptoms

 

What should you do if you are asymptomatic and have had a positive COVD PCR test

  • LSUHSC requires that you self-report using both the online reporting system (LSUHSC online self-reporting platforms) and by calling the Campus Health Clinic (504 412-1995).
  • Do not come to work or school.  Isolation from campus is required.
  • LSUHSC also recommends that you self-isolate at home (follow CDC guidance about household prevention)
  • In addition to notifying the Campus Health Clinic, LSUHSC encourages you to notify your supervisor so that we can begin isolating colleagues that you may have exposed and have your workspace cleaned if necessary.  You and your supervisor can also discuss leave policies.
  • If you had documented COVID within the last six weeks, the test is most likely a persistent positive test related to your previous infection and you may not be required to quarantine.
  • Campus Health or contact tracers will determine if there were moderate-to-high risk exposures to other campus personnel beginning 48 hours prior to the positive test. Moderate-to-high risk exposures include conversations at less than 6 feet distance for 15 minutes or longer regardless of mask use.
  • Return to campus clearance will be determined by the Campus Health Clinic in accordance with CDC guidelines:
    • At least 10 days after the positive test, provided the student/employee remains asymptomatic
    • If immunocompromised, at least 20 days after positive test,  provided the student/employee remains asymptomatic

 

What should you do if you have had a moderate-to-high risk exposure to a COVID positive individual

  • Quarantine at home while monitoring for fever and symptoms
  • Call the Campus Health Clinic (504 412-1995) to determine when it is safe to return to work.  Note that if you had documented infection with COVID-19 within the three months prior to the known exposure, you may not need to quarantine.
  • Students should also use the online self-isolation reporting form (LSUHSC online self-reporting platforms) in addition to notifying the Campus Health Clinic (504 412-1995).
  • You notify their supervisor (to discuss work from home or leave policies)
  • Campus Health will recommend a COVID PCR test 5-7 days after the exposure.
    • If COVID PCR test is positive, follow management of positive test above
    • If COVID PCR test is negative, you may return to campus a minimum of 10 days after the exposure provided that you remain asymptomatic. Strict adherence to masks and physical distancing are extremely important after you return to campus. 
  • If no COVID PCR test is performed, you must remain in quarantine from campus for 14 days from the exposure, and you may return to campus only if you remain asymptomatic.
  • Students who live in the dorms must remain isolated for the full 14 days.
  • Employees  and students should notify their supervisors (to discuss work from home or leave policies)

 

COVID management in employees who are integral to clinical patient care

In general, clinical employees will follow the guidelines of their current clinical sites (hospital or HealthCare Network Clinic).  Clinical sites may define a moderate-high risk exposure differently (i.e. close contact without full PPE including eye protection or exposure to an aerosolized procedure without full PPE).

Additionally, please note that students are not integral to clinical patient care, and must follow campus guidelines regardless of whether or not they are on a clinical rotation.

 

Management of test positive students in the Dorm

If test-positive students are able to live elsewhere with family members or friends, they should leave the dorm for the time periods specified above.  If they must remain in the dorm, they should strictly adhere to quarantine in their room and minimize the risk of exposing other students.  

 

International Travel

Students and employees must remain in quarantine for 14 days after returning or arriving from an international destination.  If they are asymptomatic and obtain a negative COVID test in our testing center 5-7 days after their arrival, they may return to work after 10 days of quarantine.                                                                                                                         

Contact Tracing for LSUHSC Employees

Campus Health will encourage individuals who test positive for COVID to notify their supervisors and identify other students or employees with whom they have had moderate-high risk contact in the 48 hours prior to their positive test.  Supervisors should facilitate the isolation and quarantine of those individuals as soon as possible, and encourage them to be tested 5 days after the exposure.  After reporting through the on-line reporting system, contact tracing will be done by the School of Public Health to further ensure that campus contacts of all COVID test-positive students and employees are informed and quarantined.  Removal of those exposed individuals from campus will improve campus safety.  We encourage employees and students to aid LSUHSC in identifying colleagues who may be at high or moderate risk* due to their exposure in the workplace.  LSUHSC will not identify source patients in the process of notifying other employees about their potential exposure to COVID-19. If possible, we should notify and quarantine campus contacts as soon as possible. 

* Moderate-high risk - close contact (within 6 feet) with the source employee/student for a total of >15 minutes over a 24-hour period regardless of mask use.

 

The Role of Supervisors in Control of COVID on Campus

Prevention is the campus’ best defense against COVID.  Supervisors should enforce adherence to preventive measures among their employees. This includes proper wearing of masks, physical distancing and limiting in person meetings and gatherings as much as possible.  Supervisors also play an important role in reducing spread if an employee is sick or tests positive.

  • If an employee has any symptoms, ensure that they leave campus immediately, quarantine at home, and follow the recommendations above.
  • Call Campus Health (412-1995) if you have any questions about how to manage an ill employee
  • If an employee tests positive, you should ensure that they leave campus immediately, quarantine at home, and follow the recommendations above.
  • If an employee tests positive, you should notify your employees that there has been an infected person in the area and remind them to strictly adhere to wearing masks, physical distancing and handwashing. Do not divulge the name of the positive employee.
  • If an employee tests positive you should try to identify other employees who had a moderate-high risk exposure in the 48 hours prior to the positive test (close contact < 6 feet, for more than 15 minutes, over a 24 hour period).  Individuals with moderate to high risk exposure should be quarantined from campus immediately, and they should follow the recommendations above.
  • If an employee tests positive, you should also secure and isolate their workspace and other areas they have frequented in the 48 hours prior to their positive test.  Contact Mr. John Ball, Associate Vice Chancellor for Property and Facilities (jball@lsuhsc.edu).  The Environmental Health and Safety Office will determine the need for disinfection.
  • If an employee tests positive, you should notify other supervisors that share the floor, without divulging the name of the positive employee. They, in turn, should remind their employees to strictly adhere to wearing masks, physical distancing and handwashing.

 

Please note that these guidelines will evolve as state and national recommendations change.