Anyone experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should stay home. Do not come to work or to class.

To report symptoms or exposure, fill out the Employee Exposure and Symptom form on the UAB Healthcheck page.

For the fall 2021 semester, UAB will offer symptomatic and exposure testing for any unvaccinated members of the campus community at Employee Health. Those who are fully vaccinated will have access to symptomatic testing. UAB prioritizes testing for employees by offering three different testing structures to assess the spread of COVID-19:

Symptomatic Testing

Vaccinated and unvaccinated employees experiencing COVID-19 symptoms have access to clinical staff and COVID testing through Employee Health Services. Please use the Employee Exposure & Symptom Form to report symptoms to Employee Health and receive testing guidance.

Close-Contact Testing

Unvaccinated employees who have been exposed to COVID-19 have access to testing. Please use the Employee Exposure & Symptom Form to report exposure to Employee Health and receive testing guidance. Vaccinated employees who have been in close contact with someone positive for COVID-19 should report their exposure via the Employee Exposure & Symptom Form and receive next steps.

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 for unvaccinated employees.

Been exposed? Experiencing symptoms? Need to get tested?

Use the Employee Exposure & Symptom Form to alert Employee Health to symptoms or a close contact that could put you at an increased risk of exposure to COVID-19, defined as being within 6 feet of an infected individual for more than 15 minutes. This is calculated over a 24-hour period. 

Even with the majority of the campus community vaccinated, we expect to see COVID cases this semester. It is important to note that vaccinated individuals will not be required to serve a 14-day quarantine after a close contact exposure (i.e., within 6 feet of a COVID positive individual for 15 minutes or more) in most circumstances.

UAB has updated its Positive Notification Protocol for faculty and students in classes that meet in person during the fall semester. The procedures use real-time data to manage class attendance for any student who tests positive for COVID-19.

If an employee receives an exposure notification from the GuideSafe app, they should report their exposure using the Employee Exposure & Symptom Form. Employee Health will then contact them with next steps.

 

Do you have COVID-19 Symptoms?

 
 
 

YES

 

Fill out the Employee Exposure & Symptom Form. Employee Health will contact you with information on next steps.

NO

 
Have you been in close contact* with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19?

*An individual being within approximately 6 feet, of a person with COVID-19 for 15 minutes over 24 hours.

 
 
 
YES
 

Fill out the Employee Exposure & Symptom Form. Employee Health will contact you with information on next steps.

NO
 

Continue to mask indoors, keep hands sanitized and monitor for symptoms and potential exposures.

For-Cause Testing

UA System campuses will immediately respond to any suspected increase in COVID-19 exposures in a specific campus location or an identified group of individuals (a “cluster”). Clusters will be identified by increases in reported positive tests or COVID-related symptoms, as identified by campus healthcare professionals reviewing Healthcheck and other campus metrics. Participation in for-cause testing is required for unvaccinated employees.

Close Contact Exposure

Close contact is defined as being within 6 feet of a positive person for greater than 15 minutes without either person wearing a mask. This is calculated over 24 hour period. Please fill out the Employee Exposure & Symptom Form as soon as possible to indicate you have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19. You will receive a call from Employee Health Services within one business day. Do not go to class or engage in social activities.

Protocols for quarantining after a close contact exposure vary by vaccination status.

  • Vaccinated persons who are asymptomatic do not have to quarantine for 14 days after a close contact, but they are encouraged to get tested after three days (quarantine is not necessary for a vaccinated individual during those three days prior to testing).
  • Unvaccinated persons need to quarantine for 14 days after a close contact with someone who tests positive, including classmates.
  • Healthcare workers may be managed using different criteria as directed by Employee Health depending on staffing requirements.
  • Symptomatic students will be isolated and tested.

If someone on your team has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or suspected to have COVID-19 and exposed other members of the UAB community, please follow these steps to help prevent the disease from spreading to people in your home and community. Employee Health will contact you for further testing and cleaning protocols if indicated. If the person who tested positive came in contact with others, they will report this to Employee or Student Health, who will then contact those that may have been exposed to COVID-19 for further testing if indicated.

Guidance for faculty/instructors on notification of exposures in in-person classes

UAB has updated its Positive Notification Protocol for faculty and students in classes that meet in person during the fall semester. The procedures use real-time data to manage class attendance for any student who tests positive for COVID-19.

If a student has a confirmed positive COVID-19 PCR or antigen result with Student Health Services (SHS), the dean or associate dean will send an email to the instructor/faculty to notify them of a student’s eligibility to attend an in-person class. To protect student privacy, the email will not explicitly state the health status of the student. Emails will note one of two possible statuses:

  • A student “should not be in class on campus”
  • A student has been “cleared to be in class on campus”

Faculty/instructors are expected to monitor classroom attendance to ensure that a student with restricted access does not attend in-person class until cleared to return.

Faculty/instructors should not share that information with any other person, act upon it in any other capacity or attempt to discuss any potential Personal Health Information with an affected student. SHS staff will report the presence of COVID-positive students to UAB Occupational Health and Safety and UAB Building Services to assess the need for enhanced cleaning or quarantining of those spaces.

Regardless of vaccination status, students and employees must comply with COVID-19 safety precautions, including mask-wearing while on campus. Non-compliance concerns can be reported through the UAB Ethics Hotline.

As noted above, protocols for quarantining after a close contact exposure do vary by vaccination status. Vaccinated persons who are asymptomatic do not have to quarantine for 14 days after a close contact, but they are encouraged to get tested after three days (quarantine is not necessary for a vaccinated individual during those three days prior to testing). Unvaccinated persons do need to quarantine for 14 days after a close contact with someone who tests positive, including classmates. Health care workers may be managed using different criteria as directed by Employee Health depending on staffing requirements. Symptomatic students will be isolated and tested.

Next steps:

If an individual in a class tests positive, faculty will receive notification described above. Students will be notified by Student Health. This is not necessarily a reason for concern. Masks are effective in protecting against COVID and are required indoors on campus.

  • Unvaccinated individuals who are identified as a close contact will be notified and directed by Student Health or Employee Health to quarantine.
  • Vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals who are not identified as close contacts will be notified and encouraged to self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days, and to seek testing if any symptoms develop.
  • Unvaccinated students who do not have symptoms and live on-campus in a residence hall will be required to take a COVID test within 5 days but not required to quarantine unless they are confirmed as a close contact. They will be referred to student conduct on day 6 if they have not tested.
  • Individuals with symptoms will be isolated and recommended for testing and a virtual visit with Student Health.

If Student Health Services identifies multiple positive cases in a single classroom, “for-cause” testing protocols may be used. Affected individuals will receive further directions based on the circumstances and their vaccine status.

Finally, 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. Any proposed change in the overall modality of the course indicated in the course schedule must be approved by the department chair or dean, then the Office of the Provost.

Symptoms

Employees should continue to participate in COVID testing if you are experiencing symptoms, even if you have been fully vaccinated. Even after vaccination, you may still contract COVID-19 or spread the virus to others, so continued precautions will still be important.

If you or someone you know is showing any of these signs, seek medical care and immediately call 911:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Bluish lips or face