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Employee Guidance on COVID-19 Illness & Exposures

The Campus Hotline for All Things COVID-19 is 800-701-9863

Employee COVID-19 Hotline

Campus Employee COVID-19 Hotline

Call the Hotline if...

  • You are experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19]
  • You have been exposed to COVID-19, including:
    • Exposure to a coworker with COVID-19
    • Community exposure to COVID
    • Exposure to a patient with COVID-19
  • You receive a diagnosis of COVID-19
  • A doctor recommends you quarantine
  • A COVID-19 test is taken
  • You have concerns about recent travel related to COVID-19

The UMB UMMC and FPI COVID-19 Exposure Hotline was established to provide case management services for employees, faculty, staff, and/or students working in University or affiliated organization buildings on campus, or clinical practices off-campus.

Calling this Hotline will document your situation and provide support and guidance until the FPI Employee Health team can get back to you. The Hotline team will assist with decisions about symptom monitoring, quarantine duration, COVID-19 testing, identifying possibly exposed contacts on campus, and planning return to work. Employees working remotely are encouraged to contact their personal physician for assistance.

Symptoms that May Be COVID-19

Symptoms that May Be COVID-19

If you develop any of the following...

  • sore throat
  • cough
  • fever
  • muscle aches
  • shortness of breath

Then please...

  • DO NOT COME TO WORK.
  • Isolate yourself and contact your doctor for advice.
  • Do not go to the doctor without calling FIRST.
  • Cover your mouth with a facemask or other covering to protect others around you.
  • If you are at work, talk with your supervisor and leave work.

Report your Illness

If you are an employee working on campus or in a clinical practice and you develop symptoms that may be COVID-19, or if you are diagnosed with COVID-19:

  • Call the Campus Employee COVID-19 hotline at 800-701-9863
  • Complete the illness report form
  • Employee health will follow up with you about need for testing, contact tracing and work instructions.
  • Contact FPI Employee Health at 410-328-2637 for advice or assistance.

Employee Instructions for Self-Isolation

Self / Home Isolation: If you have symptoms concerning for or have been diagnosed with COVID-19, you should isolate yourself in your home to protect those in your home and in the community. Here are some concrete steps to help you make this happen: 

Stay home! People who are mildly ill with COVID-19 can recover at home. Do not leave, except to get medical care. Do not visit public areas.

Stay in touch with your doctor.

  • Call before you get medical care.
  • Be sure to get care if you feel worse or you think it is an emergency.

Avoid public transportation, including ridesharing and taxis.

Stay away from others! 

  • As much as possible, you should stay in a specific “sick room” and away from other people in your home.
  • Use a separate bathroom, if available.

Limit contact with pets & animals. 

  • You should restrict contact with pets and other animals, just like you would around other people.
  • It is recommended that people with the virus limit contact with their pets, as COVID-19 has been found to infect animals.  
  • When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick with COVID-19.
  • If you must take care of your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with them.

Call ahead before visiting your doctor:

  • If you have a medical appointment, call your doctor’s office or emergency department, and tell them you have or may have COVID-19.
  • This information will help the office protect themselves and other patients.

Wear a facemask if you are sick: You should wear a facemask when you are going to be closer than 6 feet from other people; this includes around people from your household. 

If you are caring for others:

  • If the person who is sick is not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then people who live in the home should stay in a different room.
  • When caregivers enter the sick room, they should wear a facemask.
  • Visitors other than caregivers are not recommended

Cover your coughs and sneezes:

  • Use a tissue or sneeze/cough into your elbow.
  • Dispose: throw away tissues in a lined trashcan.
  • Wash hands: Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap is not available, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Clean your hands often!

  • Use soap and water to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds. This is especially important after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating/preparing food.
  • If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.  

Do not share. 

  • Avoid sharing personal household items.
  • Clean high-touch surfaces in your sick room and bathroom at least once a day.
  • Let someone else clean and disinfect surfaces in common areas, but NOT your bedroom or bathroom.
  • If a caregiver or other person needs to clean and disinfect a sick person’s bedroom or bathroom, they should do so on an as-needed basis.
  • Caregivers should wear a mask and wait if possible until after the sick person has used the bathroom.

Clean and disinfect.

  • Clean high-touch surfaces in your “sick room” and bathroom at least daily.   
  • Let someone else clean and disinfect surfaces in common areas, but not your bedroom and bathroom. 
  • If a caregiver or other person needs to clean and disinfect a sick person’s bedroom or bathroom, they should do so on an as-needed basis.  
  • The caregiver/other person should wear a mask and wait if possible after the sick person has used the bathroom. 
  • High-touch surfaces include phones, remote controls, counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables. 
  • Clean and disinfect areas that may have blood, stool, or body fluids on them. 
  • Household cleaners and disinfectants: Clean the area or item with soap and water or another detergent if it is dirty. Then, use a household disinfectant.  
  • Be sure to follow the instructions on the label to ensure safe and effective use of the product. Many products recommend keeping the surface wet for several minutes to ensure germs are killed.  
  • Many also recommend precautions such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during use of the product. 
  • Most EPA-registered household disinfectants should be effective.
  • CDC Recommendations for Cleaning and Disinfecting your Home

Monitor your symptoms: 

  • Seek medical care right away if your illness is worsening (for example, if you have difficulty breathing). 
  • Call your doctor before going in: Before going to the doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them your symptoms. They will tell you what to do. 
  • If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately. Emergency warning signs include:  
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath 
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest 
  • New confusion or inability to arouse 
  • Bluish lips or face 
  • This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning 
  • Call 911 if you have a medical emergency: If you have a medical emergency and need to call 911, notify the operator that you have or think you might have, COVID-19. If possible, put on a facemask before medical help arrives. 
  • Wear a facemask: If possible, put on a facemask before you enter the building. If you can’t put on a facemask, try to keep a safe distance from other people (at least 6 feet away). This will help protect the people in the office or waiting room. 
  • Follow care instructions from your healthcare provider and employee health.

Help Employee Health Monitor Your Health

Please complete an illness report via the University of Maryland COVID-19 Reporting and Exposure System. This report will trigger notices to you to take your temperature and monitor your symptoms as you recover.

What about work?

Contact FPI Employee Health at 410-328-2637 or at FPIEmployeeHealth@som.umaryland.edu for guidance on returning to work. If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19, you should not return to the workplace until you have been without fever for 10 days. If you do not have COVID-19, you can return to work earlier, usually after you have been fever-free for 3 days. You can work at home if work is available as soon as you are feeling up to it. Remote work is encouraged for anyone whose job can be done remotely; this is an important tool for physical distancing and will reduce the risk of transmitting or contracting COVID-19.

What about pay issues?

Work with your manager and FPI Human Resources to understand how pay and leave will be handled during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Exposure Event

Exposure Events

If you are exposed to someone with COVID-19…

Call the Campus Hotline for All Things COVID-19 at 800-701-9863. The UMB, UMMC and FPI COVID-19 Exposure Hotline was established to provide case management services for employees working in University or affiliated organization buildings on campus, or clinical practices off-campus.

Calling this Hotline will document your situation and provide support and guidance until the FPI Employee Health team can get back to you. The Hotline team will assist with decisions about symptom monitoring, need for quarantine and planning return to work. Employees working remotely are encouraged to contact their personal physician for assistance.


Report Your Exposure

FPI employees should report exposures to COVID-19 using the University of Maryland COVID-19 Reporting and Exposure System.

The following are examples of exposures for which completion of this form is indicated:

  • Contact with a patient known or presumed to have COVID-19 without using recommended personal protective equipment
  • Direct contact with a person with confirmed COVID-19
  • Direct contact with a person who develops symptoms of COVID-19 while quarantined after an exposure
  • Recent travel from an area with high levels of community transmission of COVID-19

Having contact, even close contact, with a person who does not have symptoms but was told to quarantine based on an exposure is NOT considered an exposure.

Submitting this form results in the system generating automated reminders to monitor and log your temperature and symptoms. UMB community members calling the hotline with issues warranting tracking will also be directed to complete this form. This form will also be pushed out to community members identified as contacts of a COVID-19 case during contact tracing.


If You are a UMMC Employee

UMB faculty with UMMC clinical appointments who are working in FPI Clinical Practices should follow the UMMC reporting and tracking system:

Employee Exposure to Positive Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Patient Form

This is required for all employees who have had or currently have contact with a confirmed/positive Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) patient while at work.

Employee Exposure to Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the Community or from a Colleague Form

This form must be completed by all employees who have been exposed to COVID-19 in the community (i.e., any exposure outside of the workplace) or by a colleague at work.


Employee Instructions for Self-Quarantine

The purpose of self-quarantine is to limit the spread of COVID-19 because you have been identified as a person who had potential exposure. Self-quarantine, or voluntary self-confinement, means you should

  • separate yourself from other people.
  • restrict your movement around other people.
  • minimize your interactions with other people. 

Here are some concrete steps to help you make this happen:

Stay home except to get medical care.

  • PLEASE NOTE: You will not be allowed to return to the workplace for 14 days from the date of exposure. You can and should work at home if this is an option during your quarantine period.
  • Stay in a separate bedroom and use a separate bathroom, if possible.

No visitors – only residents should be in the home.

Separate yourself from other people to the extent possible.

Clean your hands often. Wash with soap or water for a minimum of 20 seconds or use alcohol-based hand sanitizers with at least 60 percent alcohol.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

Avoid sharing personal household items.

Clean “common” or “high-touch” surfaces every day.

Monitor your symptoms:

  • PLEASE NOTE: You will be asked to complete personal symptom screening twice a day (via the University of Maryland COVID-19 Reporting and Exposure System).
    • Call the Campus Hotline for All Things COVID-19 at 800-701-9863
    • Complete a new report, this time for illness at the University of Maryland COVID-19 Reporting and Exposure System. This report will trigger notices to you to take your temperature and monitor your symptoms as you recover.

If you get sick:

  • Cover your coughs and sneezes.
    • Wear a standard face mask if you are sick. 
    • This minimizes your chance of infecting others.
    • An N-95 respirator is not an effective mask for those who are sick.
  • If you do begin to experience symptoms such as fever (>100° F or >38.0° c), cough, difficulty breathing, or a sore throat, we will help you get prioritized for evaluation and testing.
  • Call 911 if you have a medical emergency: If you have a medical emergency and need to call 911, notify the operator that you have or think you might have, COVID-19. If possible, put on a facemask before medical help arrives. 
  • Your family members should follow the above instructions for quarantine until further

What about work?

Contact FPI Employee Health at 410-328-2637 or at FPIEmployeeHealth@som.umaryland.edu for guidance on returning to work. Remote work is encouraged for anyone whose job can be done remotely; this is an important tool for physical distancing and will reduce the risk of transmitting or contracting COVID-19.

What about pay issues?

Work with your manager and FPI Human Resources to understand how pay and leave will be handled during the COVID-19 pandemic.

What About Pay?

What About Pay?

If you are advised to isolate for illness symptoms, or quarantine related to a COVID-19 exposure, you may have questions about how pay works during this time away from work.

Your manager should work with FPI Human Resources to explore options for work at home, unless you are too ill for any work. Speak with your manager, who will consult with FPI Human Resources if needed, about pay and leave questions during public health mandated isolation or quarantine.