students wearing masks

Guide for Sick/Exposed Campus Members

Updated: January 7, 2021, 9 a.m. CST

Step 1

Stay home when sick or after possible exposure

Sick campus members should follow the guidance of their medical providers and/or contact tracers on when to discontinue isolation or quarantine. The following are basic guidelines following the latest CDC guidance:

For individuals who had a close contact with someone who has a positive or presumed positive COVID-19 case:

Quarantine by staying home and monitoring your health:

  • The preferred quarantine period remains 14 days after your last contact with a person who has COVID-19. 
  • Please note that the day of exposure is Day 0. 
  • However, your quarantine may be relaxed after Day 10 if you have not experienced symptoms, remain symptom free, and have received a negative COVID-19 test result after testing on or after Day 8 after exposure to a positive COVID-19 case*. After day 10, you must continue to take precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, wearing a mask is recommended, physical distancing, washing hands, and avoiding crowds. After day 10, you must continue to monitor yourself for symptoms, and if you experience any symptoms you should return to quarantine, consult your primary care provider, and a get tested for COVID-19. COVID-19 testing is readily available on campus and you are recommended to test prior to exiting either a 10 or 14 day quarantine. 
  • Watch for fever (100.4◦F), cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19.
  • If possible, stay away from others, especially people who are at higher risk for getting very sick from COVID-19.
  • You may leave quarantine to seek medical attention and get tested as needed, but you should go directly to your appointment, minimize contact with others, and return to quarantine.

* This excludes people who had COVID-19 within the past 3 months, have recovered, and remain symptom free, as well as, those who have been fully vaccinated with an FDA-approved vaccine and remain symptom free. For guidance regarding individuals who have recovered from a COVID-19 case within the past 3 months, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/end-home-isolation.html.

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 since symptoms first appeared and
  • At least 24 hours with no fever without fever-reducing medication and
  • Symptoms have resolved

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.

If you have had no symptoms:

If you continue to have no symptoms, you can discontinue isolation and be with others after 10 days have passed since the date you had your positive test.

Step 2

Get tested for COVID-19

Free COVID-19 testing is being 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. 

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 (by selecting “Self” when asked who is making this report) if:

  • You have been diagnosed with or received a positive test result for COVID-19;
  • You are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms (as listed on the CDC website); or
  • You believe that you have been in close contact (defined as being within 6 feet for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period regardless of wearing a face covering) with someone who has or is suspected to have COVID-19, or someone in your household has been diagnosed with or received a positive test result for COVID-19.

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

  • You have been diagnosed with or received a positive test result for COVID-19;
  • You are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms (as listed on the CDC website); or
  • You believe that you have been in close contact (defined as being within 6 feet for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period regardless of wearing a face covering) with someone who has or is suspected to have COVID-19, or someone in your household (including a roommate or housemate) has been diagnosed with or received a positive test result for COVID-19.

Step 4

Notify appropriate campus members

Students:

Specific isolation/quarantine space is not being held on campus. If an on-campus student needs to isolate or quarantine because they have tested positive for COVID-19 or are considered a close contact, they should make arrangements to do so off campus. If an on-campus student is not able to isolate or quarantine off campus, they should contact their hall/apartment staff to discuss options. Contact the Department of Residence Life at 979-862-3158 or visit their website at https://reslife.tamu.edu for more information.

Students who are required to isolate either because you received a positive COVID-19 test and have mild or no symptoms OR you were identified as a close contact of someone who tested positive for COVID-19 should complete this Quarantine Form which will be automatically sent to your instructors.  You should also e-mail your instructors and ask how to keep up with your class and assignments.

Students experiencing personal illness that is too severe for the student to attend class should contact your instructors, let them know you have been diagnosed with COVID-19, and that you 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 your medical provider.

Employees:

Employees must notify their supervisor if they are diagnosed with COVID-19, are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms, or believe they have been in close contact with someone who has or is suspected to have COVID-19.  Close contact is defined as being within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period regardless of wearing a face covering. 

Student Employee:

If you are a student employee who works on campus, you must immediately notify your work supervisor.

Students or employees who have tested positive for COVID-19 or have been in close contact to someone with COVID-19 will be contacted by a member of the Operations Center to conduct an interview, provide specific guidance, answer questions about COVID-19, and initiate contact tracing.  Close contact is defined as being within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period regardless of wearing a face covering. 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: 

If you are a supervisor or faculty member, you must follow the steps outlined above in Step 3 for “Employee” and you must also take the steps shown below when notified directly by an employee or student of any of the above listed COVID-19 criteria.  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, and complete the COVID-19 Report Form by selecting “Self”;
    • Supervisors and faculty should use the provided script when notified by an employee or student of any of the COVID-19 criteria (see question before Step 5)
  • Immediately report any information provided by the individual through the COVID-19 Report Form by selecting “Supervisor”;
  • Encourage the person to seek medical attention (if they have not already done so);
  • Inform the person that a member of the Operations Center will contact them to provide them with information and resources, and to initiate contact tracing, if necessary; and
  • Encourage the person to fully cooperate with the Operations Center’s contact tracing 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 COVID19Process@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, or other symptoms. 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, 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

Sick campus members should follow the guidance of their medical providers and/or contact tracers on when to discontinue isolation or quarantine. The following are basic guidelines following the latest CDC guidance:

For individuals who had a close contact with someone who has a positive or presumed positive COVID-19 case follow quarantine guidance in Step 1

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 since symptoms first appeared and
  • At least 24 hours with no fever without fever-reducing medication and
  • Symptoms have resolved

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.

If you do not have symptoms:

If you continue to have no symptoms, you can discontinue isolation and be with others after 10 days have passed since the date you had your positive test.

Frequently Asked Questions


  • Is a supervisor who has advised their ill employee (suspected or confirmed COVID-19 positive) to complete the COVID-19 Report Form required to submit the COVID-19 Report Form as well?

    Yes, supervisors are required to immediately report any information provided by the individual to the COVID-19 Report Form by selecting "Supervisor" on the form.

    Faculty do NOT need fill out the COVID-19 Report Form for a student if they provide them with a confirmation of a medical visit document or an absence of notification form.

  • What is the difference between isolation and quarantine?
    Isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick. Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick. For more information on determining when it is safe to come to campus, please consult with your healthcare provider, see Step 6: Determine When It Is Safe To Come To Campus above, or visit the CDC's website.
  • How is the University supporting contact tracing?

    The Operations Center is staffed with Texas A&M faculty, personnel employed by the Brazos County Health District (BCHD), and a team of Texas A&M System employees responsible for contacting and interviewing individuals who have either tested positive for COVID-19 or have been in close contact to someone with COVID-19. This process will allow the university to provide guidance and resources to those that are affected, determine if others are exposed, and assess the impact of the virus in our campus. The BCHD team is responsible for contacting and interviewing residents of Brazos County, including Texas A&M students and employees. The System team is responsible for contacting and interviewing Texas A&M students and employees who reside outside of Brazos County (including those at other System members that have chosen to use the Operations Center).

    The Operations Center will handle contact tracing by contacting students, faculty, and staff who have tested positive for COVID-19 or have been in close contact to someone with COVID-19 to provide guidance on self-quarantine or self-isolation, ask about close contacts and notify those contacts, if necessary, provide recommendations and resources (e.g., testing and isolation guidelines), and promote best practices. The COVID-19 Reporting Committee will have access to the information reported through the COVID-19 Report Forms and will coordinate with key campus offices to contain the spread of the disease while also protecting the confidentiality of the affected individual’s information to the extent possible.

  • Where can I find local COVID-19 statistics?

    The Brazos County Health District provides local COVID-19 statistics on a daily basis on their website.