Department of Human Resources

What to Do If Staff Tests Positive for COVID-19

Finding out that a member of your Oberlin College team has tested positive for COVID-19 can be a cause for concern on many levels.

While your first concern will always be for the individual affected, as a member of the campus community, you also have to be concerned about the rest of the staff you work with and any people that might have had contact with the staff member with the positive diagnosis. These steps will help guide you through what you should do if someone in your office tests positive for COVID-19. We also ask that Oberlin staff review the College’s Suspected or Positive COVID-19 ResponsePolicy.

The Employee

  1. An employee who is diagnosed with COVID-19 will be contacted by Mercy Hospital. They will direct the employee to consult with their physician, including quarantine protocols and will be able to answer preliminary questions.
  2. The employee will contact their supervisor immediately. The supervisor will immediately notify Oberlin Human Resources and Environment, Health and Safety.
  3. The COVID-19 Campus Health Coordinator and/or the Lorain County Health Department will consult with the affected employee regarding those they may have been in contact with, otherwise known as “contact tracing.” Some questions asked may include:

    What was the date of the last contact?
    How long was the contact?
    What was the approximate distance of the contact?
    Are they experiencing symptoms?
    The Lorain County Health Department will contact other employees they believe should self-quarantine.
  4. Following public health guidance, to return to campus, the employee will be required to stay away from campus for a minimum of 10-days from the time of testing. The employee also must be free of fever for 24 hours without the aid of medication and have improvement in other symptoms.

The Workspace

  1. Staff should contact EHS immediately. The workspace should be secured and not open to employees.
  2. EHS will coordinate the college’s certified cleaners for professional disinfection. Disinfection will be conducted by certified trained custodians. All surfaces will be cleaned and disinfected according to CDC and health department guidelines
  3. Once the workspace is certified to have been disinfected, EHS will contact the office to allow for a return by employees.

For those employees with no symptoms, it is still wise to practice social distancing and avoid groups of 10 or more people. Maintain at least 6 feet separation from others. You can test positive for coronavirus without symptoms, and spread the virus to others. Symptoms develop within 2 to 14 days after exposure.