Sept. 23 - To faculty and staff: Close contact guidance for employees

Dear Salve Regina faculty and staff,

As a followup to last week's communication regarding the health and safety of our campus community, we wanted to clarify information that outlines specific steps for those identified as a close contact of a positive COVID-19 case, as well as provide a link to Salve Regina's workplace safety policy.

Please carefully review the information below regarding close contact identification and related guidelines. Close contact is still defined as being within six feet for a total of 15 minutes or more within two days prior to illness onset, regardless of wearing a mask. Please also be aware that guidelines and policies are subject to change as information provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) may change in relation to the fluid nature of COVID-19 and any variants.

If you have been identified as a close contact by a positive case at Salve Regina, the University will always notify you. Notification typically happens within 24-48 hours of that case being identified. Please keep a daily log of your activities to aid in contact tracing should the need arise. Personal information is not shared with close contacts during the identification process.

When reviewing requirements, it is important to note the difference between quarantine and isolation. Quarantine is required for unvaccinated individuals when there is possible exposure to the virus, and may be needed for fully vaccinated individuals who become symptomatic. Isolation is required when you have tested positive for the virus regardless of vaccination status or whether or not you have symptoms.

Please notify Human Resources if you are identified as a close contact outside of the University or if you have additional questions.

Identified Close Contact/No Symptoms

If you have been identified as a close contact and are fully vaccinated, or have tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 90 days, you do not need to quarantine as long as you have no symptoms. You will need to be tested within 3-5 days of exposure.

If you are not vaccinated, you will be required to quarantine for seven days if identified as a close contact. You should also be tested as soon as possible. If the first test is negative, test again if symptoms develop, and on day five after initial exposure. Return to work on day eight if all tests are negative and no symptoms have developed. Unvaccinated faculty should temporarily move classes online and notify their department chair that they have done so.

Identified Close Contact/Symptoms

If you have been identified as a close contact, are vaccinated and are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19, please contact your health care provider. You should also quarantine immediately and secure a test as soon as possible. If test results are negative, you should continue to quarantine until your symptoms improve. It is also suggested you receive a COVID-19 test on day five after initial exposure.

If you are not vaccinated, contact your health care provider and quarantine for seven days. You should also be tested as soon as possible. If the first test is negative, test again on day five after initial exposure. Return to work on day eight if all tests are negative and no additional symptoms have developed.

Faculty members should temporarily move classes online and notify their department chair that they have done so when guidelines call for quarantine or suggested quarantine until receipt of a negative test.

Symptoms/No Close Contact

Faculty and staff who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should contact a health care provider regardless of vaccination status. You should be tested as soon as possible, and you should plan to stay home until symptoms improve/end, or a negative test result is obtained. To find external testing sites, visit covid.ri.gov/testing. Faculty should temporarily move classes online and notify their department chair that they have done so.

Positive COVID-19 Test Result

If you test positive for COVID-19, please contact Human Resources as soon as possible for further guidance at humanresources@salve.edu or (401) 341-2137.

Testing

As required by RIDOH, members of our community who are not vaccinated are participating in regular surveillance testing. Individuals who are fully vaccinated may also be required to participate in targeted surveillance testing at a later date depending on the analysis of data throughout the semester.

We are not offering on-demand asymptomatic testing at this time. To find external testing sites, visit covid.ri.gov/testing.

For future reference, the Back to Salve website contains all recent communications tied to the University’s COVID-19 response. Thank you for all you continue to do to keep our campus community safe.