Managing Symptoms, Exposure and Positive Cases

Managing Symptoms, Exposure and Positive Cases

Positive COVID-19 Test Result

For anyone who tests positive for COVID regardless of vaccination status:

  1. Any UNM faculty, staff, or student who has tested positive for COVID-19 is required to self-report via UNM's online self-reporting system (excluding HSC clinical employees). See the Policy Statement for Self-Reporting Positive COVID-19 Diagnosis for more information.
  2. Notify your supervisor and exit campus if you are on campus.
  3. You DO NOT need to get an additional PCR test if you have had a positive at-home rapid test.
  4. Isolate at home for 5 days. *The day that you became symptomatic OR tested positive (whichever comes first) is counted as “Day 0”. You will then count five days starting on the next day and can return to work on day 6 as long as you do not have symptoms and are fever-free for 24 hours without medicine.
  5. If you have no symptoms after 5 DAYS you can return to work, but must wear a 3-ply or better medical/health procedure mask when around others for 5 MORE DAYS.
  6. To prevent the spread of COVID, tell anyone you have recently had close contact with and encourage them to get tested, monitor for symptoms, and reduce exposure to other people.

Experiencing Symptoms of COVID-19

For anyone who has symptoms of COVID-19 regardless of your vaccination status:

  1. Employees who are experiencing signs or symptoms associated with COVID-19 (i.e. flu-like symptoms, fever > 100, cough, shortness of breath, loss of taste or smell) can elect to report their symptoms to the UNM COVID Call Center via this secure online symptom survey: https://redcap.link/CCC_Symptomatic_testing_scheduling.  The Call Center can assist in arranging a test if needed.
  2. Regardless of your vaccination status, stay at home and quarantine until your symptoms clear for at least 24 hours.  Unless you work in an HSC setting, you do not need clearance from the COVID Call Center to return to work.

Close Contact Exposure to COVID-19

For anyone who has been in close contact with someone with COVID-19. The CDC defines close contact as someone who was less than 6 feet away from an infected person (laboratory-confirmed or a clinical diagnosis) for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period. For example, three individual 5-minute exposures for a total of 15 minutes.

The guidelines differ depending on your vaccination status:

Fully Vaccinated (with Booster, if eligible):

If you are up to date on all COVID-19 vaccines that you are eligible for and are not experiencing symptoms:

  • You are not required to quarantine, and may continue to come to campus.
  • Wear a three ply or better medical/health procedure mask when around others FOR 10 DAYS.
  • Test on Day 5, if possible. The State of New Mexico has contracted with a test provider that currently provides at-home PCR tests free of charge.
  • If you develop symptoms at any time, report your symptoms to the UNM COVID Call Center via this secure online symptom survey. Stay home and quarantine until you receive guidance on testing and isolation from the COVID Call Center. The secure online symptom survey is at https://redcap.link/CCC_Symptomatic_testing_scheduling.

Not Fully Vaccinated:

If you are unvaccinated, not fully vaccinated or without a booster (not up to date on all vaccinations you are eligible for) and are not experiencing symptoms:

  • Stay at home for 5 days after exposure.
  • Then wear a three-ply or better medical/health procedure mask when around others FOR 5 MORE DAYS.
  • Test on Day 5, if possible. The State of New Mexico has contracted with a test provider that currently provides at-home PCR tests free of charge.
  • If you develop symptoms at any time, report your symptoms to the UNM COVID Call Center via this secure online symptom survey. Stay home and quarantine until you receive guidance on testing and isolation from the COVID Call Center. The secure online symptom survey is at https://redcap.link/CCC_Symptomatic_testing_scheduling.

Leave Options for Employees

Employees who are required to isolate or quarantine due to a positive test, symptoms, or close contact may be able to utilize “situational telecommuting,” allowing them to work from home rather than coming to campus or taking leave.

Supervisor’s guide for when an employee is positive for COVID-19

If a supervisor becomes aware that an employee who has occupied a UNM space has tested positive for COVID-19, please recognize that individual’s right to privacy regarding healthcare issues, but also recognize the concerns of other occupants.

Supervisor responsibility for employees who disclose they have tested positive:

  1. Separate the employee from others and send the individual home, or instruct individual to refrain from coming to campus if not on campus. Employee must begin the self-isolation period.
  2. Instruct the individual to log into UNM’s self-reporting system and to follow the above guidance for Positive Test Results.
  3. Request permission from the employee to disclose to other employees the positive test results.
  4. Let co-workers who may have been “Close Contacts” know of the positive results and instruct them to follow the “Close Contact Exposure to COVID-19" procedures above. If the employee has not granted permission then avoid using the employee's name when speaking with co-workers.