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Guidance for Managing COVID-19 in the Workplace

This guidance has been developed to help employees and supervisors follow proper protocol for a variety of scenarios in the workplace regarding COVID-19. This document is not intended to capture every possible scenario but, rather, is a reflection of the most common scenarios that may be presented. This document will be updated with additional information and guidance. Questions, comments or concerns about the information presented should be submitted to

Employees who feel ill, whether related to COVID-19 or an unrelated illness, should stay home and seek medical attention if appropriate. Student employees or graduate assistants should contact Student Health Services (SHS) for assistance. Keep in mind that employees requesting time away from work should follow normal call-in procedures and protocols for their department and report time away from work in accordance with University policy.

Employee Related COVID-19 Scenarios

  • Scenario 1: Employee has symptoms consistent with COVID-19.

In the case of an employee who is:

The employee should test as soon as possible.


  • the employee tests positive, they should follow the instructions provided in Scenario 3.
  • the employee tests negative, the employee may return to work if they feel able and should continue to use standard hygiene and continue to wash hands frequently. Employees may choose to wear a face covering. The employee may also use benefit time, in conjunction with department polices and call-in procedures, if they are still not feeling well enough to work.
  • Scenario 2: Employee believes he or she may have been exposed to COVID-19

In the case of an employee who:

  • believes that they may have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

The employee should follow CDC Guidance on exposure.

  • Scenario 3: Employee is positive for COVID-19

In the case of an employee who has:

  • tested positive for COVID-19

The employee should follow the directives from their health care provider and in accordance with CDC guidelines and may use benefit time, in conjunction with department policies and call-in procedures, for the time period they must be absent from the workplace.

Employees with a situation that rises to the level of a serious health condition as defined by the FMLA should contact their Benefit Counselor in Human Resources about a leave of absence.

In the event that an employee’s absence is for five or more consecutive workdays for a personal medical reason or for any length of time due to a hospitalization, a release to return to work will be required. Documentation should be provided to the employee’s Benefit Counselor in Human Resources, not to the employee’s supervisor. Suitable documentation includes a written release from the employee’s healthcare provider or a picture of the employee’s positive COVID-19 test result.

Directing Employees to Test

Supervisors should be aware that they should not direct an employee to seek or not seek testing for COVID-19. The decision to test should be made between the employee and their health care provider.