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Important College and Coronavirus Information ››

 
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10901 Little Patuxent Parkway
Columbia MD, 21044
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312 Marshall Avenue, Suite 205
Laurel, MD 20707
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Protocol for Employees and Students Ill with Covid-19

Howard Community College is concerned for the health and safety of its campus community. The nature of COVID-19 is such that actions taken by you affect not only your own well-being but also the well-being of every person with whom you interact and share the campus. To promote the health and safety of our shared community, we are implementing the following for protocol for employees and students who are ill with COVID-19, based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Howard County Health Department (HCHD).

Is it critical that everyone abide by these best practices so that we may timely notify possibly exposed employees and students as soon as possible. Our knowledge and understanding of COVID-19 continues to evolve, so the College may modify the below Protocol at any time and will provide notice thereof. Every effort to keep yourself apprised of updated CDC and HCHD guidance, and to abide by it, is required.

1. Employees and students who were on campus with a suspected or confirmed positive COVID-19 diagnosis, COVID-19 related symptoms, or close contact with someone for more than 10 minutes without a face covering who has symptoms or a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis are directed to email HCC’s Emergency Operations Plan committee (EOP) at eop@howardcc.edu.

2. Classroom/Student Procedures

  1. Students who report having a suspected or confirmed positive COVID-19 diagnosis, COVID-19 related symptoms, or close contact with someone for more than 10 minutes without a face covering who has symptoms or a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis must be asked to leave the classroom, student services area, or building immediately UNLESS the students work in the healthcare industry and were protected with appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).
  2. Class will not be cancelled if a student is present in the class and reports having a suspected or confirmed positive COVID-19 diagnosis, COVID-19 related symptoms, or close contact with someone for more than 10 minutes without a face covering who has symptoms or a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis UNLESS the individuals in the class were not wearing face coverings and were not practicing social distancing. As long as face coverings and social distancing is practiced, there is no exposure.
  3. Instructors must notify their Associate Dean immediately via email with a copy to eop@howardcedu and provide the student’s name, relevant class information, campus location, and building and room number.
  4. The EOP committee will report the information to HCHD, which will determine if there was an exposure. If yes, HCHD will initiate contact tracing through its statewide contract with NORC at the University of Chicago, one of the largest independent social research organizations in the United States. The names of all exposed students and employees will be provided to HCHD and NORC so they can provide the appropriate notifications to the individuals with whom the suspected ill student may have come in close contact with.
  5. The EOP committee with coordinate with the Office of Public Relations and Marketing as well as Human Resources for any internal notifications that are necessary.
  1. Employee Procedures
  1. Employees who report or demonstrate having a suspected or confirmed positive COVID-19 diagnosis, COVID-19 related symptoms, or close contact with someone for more than 10 minutes without a face covering who has symptoms or a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis must leave campus immediately UNLESS the employee is also affiliated with the healthcare industry and was protected with appropriate PPE.
  2. Employees must notify their supervisor immediately via email with a copy to eop@howardcc.edu and provide their name, campus location, and building and room number.
  3. The EOP committee will report the information to HCHD, which will determine if there was an exposure. If yes, HCHD will initiate contact tracing through its statewide contract with NORC at the University of Chicago, one of the largest independent social research organizations in the United States. The names of all exposed students and employees will be provided to HCHD and NORC so they can provide the appropriate notifications to the individuals with whom the suspected ill student may have come in close contact with.
  4. The EOP committee will coordinate with the Office of Public Relations and Marketing as well as Human Resources for any internal notifications that are necessary
  1. The appropriate EOP committee member will contact Facilities Department to clean and sanitize the impacted location(s) where the suspected ill person visited, consistent with current CDC guidelines.
  2. Case Management Approach for Gathering Data
    1. Human Resources will contact any employee who has made a report or the Vice President of Student Services Office will contact any student who has made a report to obtain the following information.
  1. Name, telephone number and email address of the individual making the report
  2. Current location of the suspected ill person
  3. Last date on campus and buildings/floors visited
  4. Who the suspected infected person had been in contact with the last seven (7) days
  5. Which, if any, PPE was worn by the suspected ill person and others in common areas
  1. Case Management Approach for Follow-Up
  1. Human Resources will contact the ill/suspected ill employee or the Vice President of Student Services Office will contact the ill/suspected ill student via email or phone and make the following inquiries:
  1. Inquire about physical and mental health wellbeing.
  2. Determine if they live in Howard County.
  3. Ask if they have been seen and tested by a provider.
  4. Ask if the college can provide their name to HCHD, which will result in a follow-up from the health department for contact tracing purposes.
  1. Inform the infected or suspected infected person that they may not return to campus until one of two following strategies as noted by the CDC has been met:
  1. Symptom-based strategy: Persons with COVID-19 who have symptoms and were directed to care for themselves at home may discontinue isolation under the following conditions:
  • At least three days (72 hours) have passed since recovery defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath); and,
  • At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.
  1. Test-based strategy: Persons who have COVID-19 who have symptoms and were directed to care for themselves at home may discontinue isolation under the following conditions:
  • Resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and
  • Improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath), and
  • Negative results of an FDA Emergency Use Authorized COVID-19 molecular assay for detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA from at least two consecutive respiratory specimens collected 24 hours apart (total of two negative specimens).
  1. Human Resources (for employees) and the Vice President of Student Services (for students) shall notify the EOP committee at eop@howardcc.edu for all positive tests on campus using encrypted email (Virtru).
  2. Human Resources (for employees) and the Vice President of Student Services Office (for students) will send a standard template email communication to ill persons indicating the required testing and quarantine process. Ask for acknowledgement of email if sent to a non-college email address. If sent to a college email address, send using the read receipt option.
  3. If employees have plans to leave the country for vacation, they will be required to telework for a fourteen (14) day self-quarantine period upon their return to the U.S. If they cannot telework, they use safe/sick leave with their supervisor’s approval. Employees should refer to the safe/sick leave policy to determine if the member of the household qualifies the employee for sick leave usage.
  4.  The college will advance safe/sick leave, if no accrued leave is available, capped at 14 days for employees who are impacted by an individual living in the immediate household under quarantine (immediate documentation not required). Any advanced leave is repayable to the college as annual and sick leave balances accrue. Employees will be required to utilize their own personal, annual or sick leave to self-quarantine.
  5. Employees should contact Andrea Black (ablack@howardcc.edu) in Human Resources for further guidance.

a. Additional Resources and FAQs from Howard County Health Department:

  1. Being-COVID-19-Positive
  2. Contact-Tracing
  3. Coronavirus-Testing
  1. Also review the HCC website for employee information:
  1. https://www.howardcc.edu/coronavirus/keep-working/index.html
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