Protocol for exposures and positive tests

Employees who are experiencing symptoms, have tested positive, or who have been exposed

Experiencing symptoms? Need to get tested?

Symptomatic Testing:Employees experiencing COVID-19 symptoms have access to clinical staff and COVID testing through Employee Health Services. Please use the Employee Exposure or Experiencing Symptoms Form to report symptoms to Employee Health and receive testing guidance.

Employees who test at locations outside UAB or by using home testing kits should report any positive tests through the Employee Exposure or Experiencing Symptoms Form.

Close Contact Exposure

Close contact is defined as being within 6 feet of a positive person for more than 15 minutes without either person wearing a mask. This is calculated over 24 hour period. If you are experiencing ongoing close-contact exposure in a circumstance where you cannot isolate from the person who is COVID-positive (e.g., you are caring for a COVID-positive child or you sleep in the same bed with a person who is COVID-positive), then the date of last exposure is at the end of that person’s infectious period.Fill out the Employee Exposure or Experiencing Symptoms Form as soon as possible to indicate you have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19.

If you experienced a close contact exposure to someone with COVID-19, it is recommended to wear a mask while around others for 10 days following exposure, especially around those who are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19. Monitor yourself for symptoms throughout the 10-day period following your exposure. You do not have to quarantine and may return to work if you remain symptom-free. If you develop symptoms, you will need to self-isolate and be tested for COVID 19; fill out the Employee Exposure or Experiencing Symptoms Form to do so.

If you have tested positive:

  • Report outside positive tests through the Employee Exposure or Experiencing Symptoms Form.
  • Do not attend face-to-face classes, engage in social activities, or report to work. It is important for the safety of all students, staff and faculty that students with COVID do not come to campus.
  • Employees who test positive through Employee Health or upload an outside positive test (at home or outside clinician) through the Employee Exposure or Experiencing Symptoms Form will continue to receive follow-up messaging from Employee Health CDC-recommended instructions for next actions, including when to return to work.

Exposures in Class

Individual positive COVID cases will no longer be reported to faculty (for a student in their class), and the related follow-up clearance notification is also discontinued. It remains important for faculty to articulate clear written policies with regard to attendance and engagement for in-person and online courses respectively, especially in the event students have to be absent due to isolation or quarantine.

For-Cause Testing

UAB reserves the right to pursue “for-cause” testing of employees who have been in an environment where there may be an outbreak. Participation in for-cause testing is required.

Isolation and quarantine


  • Quarantine keeps someone who might have been exposed to the virus away from others. When a person is in “quarantine”, that indicates that they have been in close contact, or “exposed”, with someone with COVID-19 infection but do not have symptoms themselves.
  • Isolation keeps someone who is infected with the virus away from others, even in their home. When a person is in “isolation” that indicates that they have had a positive COVID-19 test, whether symptomatic or asymptomatic, and have been tested and awaiting their test result.
  • Click here for more information on quarantining and isolation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


In accordance with updated CDC guidelines, UAB has shortened the isolation and quarantine times following a close-contact exposure or a positive COVID test for individuals who recover quickly. The change is motivated by science demonstrating that most of the COVID-19 transmission occurs early in the course of illness.

UAB Employee Health will provide guidance on employee isolation and quarantine following an exposure or positive test. Click here for information on student-specific isolation and quarantine protocol.

COVID-19 Symptoms