students wearing masks

Positive Test Protocol

Updated: September 10, 2021, 3 p.m. CDT

If you test positive for COVID-19, you can download a flowchart for guidance or see below for more information.

Please follow the Close Contact Protocol if you have been in close contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19.

Step 1

Stay Home When Sick

Unvaccinated campus members who exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 should follow the guidance of their medical providers and/or contact tracer case investigators on when to discontinue isolation or quarantine.

Although the risk that fully vaccinated people could become infected with COVID-19 is low, any fully vaccinated person who experiences symptoms consistent with COVID-19 should isolate themselves from others, be clinically evaluated for COVID-19, and tested for SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 if indicated. The symptomatic fully vaccinated person should inform their healthcare provider of their vaccination status at the time of presentation to care.

Step 2

Get Tested for COVID-19

Free COVID-19 testing is provided for students, faculty, and staff by the Texas A&M University System. Visit https://www.tamu.edu/coronavirus/testing-locations/index.html for information about campus testing locations. 

Both vaccinated and unvaccinated who exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 should get tested.

Student Health Services provides additional COVID-19 testing information for students and faculty/staff.

Step 3

Complete the COVID-19 Self Reporting Form

General Reporting Guidelines for Employees and Students

Employee: If you are an employee, you must stay home, immediately notify your supervisor, and complete the COVID-19 Report Form (select "Self" when asked who is making this report) if:

  • You have been diagnosed with or received a positive test result for COVID-19 OR
  • Those who have COVID-19 symptoms should get tested. Follow CDC guidance while getting tested.

Student: If you are a student, you must stay home at your residence and immediately complete the COVID-19 Report Form (select “Self” when asked who is making this report) if:

  • You have been diagnosed with or received a positive test result for COVID-19, OR

You are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms (as listed on the CDC website).

Step 4

Notify Appropriate Campus Members

Students:

On-campus residents who test positive for COVID-19 should inform their live-in residential staff. Residential staff are prepared to discuss available options and guide them through the next steps. Some residents may be able to isolate/quarantine in their own room or apartment, depending on their unique situation and where they live. Residents who are from a location beyond a five-hour drive from College Station might have the option to isolate/quarantine in an alternate location on campus. Each case will be evaluated individually. Contact the Department of Residence Life at 979-862-3158, or visit their website at https://reslife.tamu.edu for more information.

Students who test positive for COVID-19, whether symptomatic or not, may request an excused absence for the required period of self-isolation. Documentation must be consistent with Student Rule 7. Students must report their positive test through the COVID-19 reporting form. Falsification of these reports constitutes a violation of Student Rule 24.4.1 and the Aggie Honor Code. 

Students experiencing personal illness that is too severe for the student to attend class should contact their instructors, let them know they have been diagnosed with COVID-19, and advise that they will be absent.  To receive an excused absence, the student must comply with the documentation and notification guidelines outlined in Student Rule 7 and obtain a note from their medical provider.

Employees:

Employees must notify their supervisor if they are diagnosed with COVID-19 or are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms.

Student Employee:

Student employees who work on campus must immediately notify their work supervisor if they are diagnosed with COVID-19 or are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms.

Students or employees who have tested positive for COVID-19 will be contacted by a member of the Operations Center, after they complete the COVID-19 Report Form, to conduct an interview, provide specific guidance, answer questions about COVID-19, and initiate case investigation.  Students who suspect that they may have COVID-19 are also encouraged to contact Student Health Services or their preferred health care provider for health advice.

Supervisors and Faculty: 

Faculty do NOT need to take these steps when a student provides them with a confirmation of a medical visit document or an absence of notification form.

  • Instruct the person to go home immediately or stay at home, practice self-isolation, get tested and complete the COVID-19 Report Form  (select “Self”).
  • Supervisors and faculty should use the provided script when notified by an employee or student of any of the COVID-19 criteria (link to script).
  • Encourage the person to seek medical attention if they have not already done so.
  • Encourage the person to fully cooperate with the Operations Center’s case investigation efforts.

Supervisors and faculty should not relay any medical information, such as a diagnosis or symptoms, about employees to any other person.  Supervisors and faculty may advise relevant personnel that the employee may be absent from work. 

Supervisors, faculty, and unit heads are not required to contact SSC to arrange the cleaning of workspaces. Additional cleaning of spaces following a COVID-19 positive test is very unlikely to be needed. Cleaning, if required, will be directed by the COVID-19 Reporting Committee led by the Office of Risk, Ethics, and Compliance (OREC).  Such information will be provided in a de-identified form to Texas A&M Facilities Services and the department head or principal investigator as appropriate.

If you have any questions regarding this COVID-19 reporting process, please contact covid-19process@tamu.edu.

  • What script should supervisors and faculty use when notified by an employee or student of any of the COVID-19 criteria?

    Supervisors and faculty should use the following script when notified by an employee or student of any of the COVID-19 criteria:

    I am instructing you to leave work or school immediately or stay at home. You are required to self-report via the COVID-19 Report Form by selecting “Self” when asked who is making this report. 

    You should stay away from others, including your own household members (including roommates or housemates) if possible. Early symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to other illnesses, and some people do not have symptoms at all. The first few days of infection are symptom free. Please remember that COVID-19 can be spread unknowingly by someone who is not aware that they are infected, such as in the first few days of infection.  

    I am required to refer your basic information to the COVID-19 Investigations and Operations Center so that they can provide you with information and resources and initiate contact tracing, if necessary. For contact tracing, they will need you to provide a list of names and contact information (phone/email addresses) for all persons you think you were in close contact with, including family members, roommates/housemates, co-workers, and others. This will allow the Operations Center to provide your contacts with information and resources, such as testing, and answer their own questions about COVID-19.  The Operations Center may also instruct you to be tested for COVID-19. Please expect to be contacted by the Operations Center, be ready to provide the requested information, and respond as soon as possible so they can help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Step 5

Self-monitor and Get Support

Monitor Your Symptoms

Symptoms of COVID-19 include headache, congestion, fever, cough, and more. Make an appointment with your primary medical provider if you would like to further discuss your specific condition. Follow care instructions from your healthcare provider and local health department. If you are sick or are caring for someone who is sick, you can also use the COVID-19 Self-Checker on the DSHS Texas Health Trace application to help you make decisions about seeking appropriate medical care. Seek emergency medical care immediately if you show any of these signs: trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, or bluish lips or face.

Mental Health Resources

Additional Resources

Brazos County Health District CDC COVID-19 Guidance | COVID-19 Testing Information for Students | COVID-19 Testing Information for Faculty/Staff | Division of Human Resources COVID-19 FAQs for Staff/Faculty | Student Health Services

Step 6

Determine When It Is Safe to Come to Campus

Campus members who test positive should follow the guidance of their medical providers and/or case investigators on when to discontinue isolation. The following are basic guidelines following the latest CDC guidance:

For individuals with a positive or presumed positive case:

If you have symptoms:

You can discontinue isolation and be with others after

  • At least 10 days of self-isolation from onset of symptoms or positive test and
  • Symptoms have resolved and
  • At least 24 hours with no fever without fever-reducing medication

If you had severe illness from COVID-19 (you were admitted to a hospital and needed oxygen), your healthcare provider may recommend that you stay in isolation for longer than 10 days after your symptoms first appeared (possibly up to 20 days) and you may need to finish your period of isolation at home.