Communication Protocols for Reporting Student and Employee COVID-19 Illness

Student undergoing COVID-19 testing

Please follow the communication protocol below, for any students that have notified you that they have been tested for COVID-19.

  1. Student notifies you that they have been tested for COVID-19.
  2. Reassure the student that VIU will support them.
  3. Let the student know that it is up to them to determine if they want to self-disclose if the test is positive. VIU will likely not be notified by the health authority.
  4. Let the student know that if they self-disclose, VIU will keep this information private, however there may be responses required at the University and/or with public health that disclose a positive case on campus, which could include class locations, recent activities (e.g. library, campus store).

Positive Test Result

  1. If the student confirms they have been tested positive, again reassure them that VIU will support them. Faculty can currently waive the requirement for a doctor’s note.
  2. Encourage the student to follow the Health Authority instructions.
  3. The faculty member or person receiving this report should be prepared to provide information around the student’s class schedule, if available.
  4. Please report a positive case of COVID-19 to the Dean’s office immediately and to Erin Bascom/Kim Sharpe. VIU will reach out to Public Health for assistance on managing a positive case on campus. This is private information and faculty members should not share this information beyond these people.
  5. VIU will take their lead on communication from Public Health, so no information should be shared by the faculty member, except to the Deans office and to Health and Safety, until Erin or Kim has made contact and the faculty member has received clear direction. Public Health is responsible for contact tracing however VIU may be able to provide assistance to expedite this process as well as to determine appropriate communication for VIU.  VIU has a Case Coordination and Support Team that is made up of a few key VIU Departments that may also be involved as required (e.g. Student Affairs, VIU Residences, and Communications).
  6. Return to campus: A student diagnosed with COVID-19 must follow all guidance from Public Health, their health care provider or the BCCDC, including instructions on self-isolation before returning to learning activities both on and off campus. Steps on returning to campus following illness should be discussed with their Instructor prior to returning to campus.

 

Ending Self-Isolation and Returning to Learning Activities

BCCDC Self Isolation Requirements can be found HERE

Step 1: The following criteria are met:

  1. At least 10 days have passed since any symptoms started, and…
    1. Your fever is gone without the use of fever-reducing medications (e.g. Tylenol, Advil), and
    2. You are feeling better (there is improvement in runny nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue). Coughing may go on for several weeks, so a cough alone does not mean you need to continue to self-monitor and self-isolate.
  2. You were self-monitoring and never developed any symptoms, or
  3. You were tested and the result was negative.

Step 2: Consult with a health care provider by either calling 811 or contacting your physician to verify that you have met the criteria.

Step 3: Contact your Instructor to discuss your return to your learning activities.

Contact:

Erin Bascom

250 740-6282

Erin.bascom@viu.ca

Kim Sharpe

250 740-6281

Kim.Sharpe@viu.ca

Employee undergoing COVID-19 testing:

Please follow the communication protocol below, for any employee that has notified you they have been tested for COVID-19.

  1. Employee notifies you that they have been tested for COVID-19.
  2. Reassure the employee that VIU will support them.
  3. Let the employee know that it is up to them to determine if they want to self-disclose the test results. VIU will likely not be notified of a positive case by the health authority.
  4. Let the employee know that if they self-disclose, VIU will keep this information private, however there may be responses required at the University and/or with public health that disclose a positive case on campus, which could include office/class locations, recent activities (e.g. library, cafeteria use).

Positive Test Result:

  1. If the employee confirms they have tested positive, again reassure them that VIU will support them. Human Resources has provided guidance for employees and managers around leave related to COVID-19.
  2. Ask the employee to follow the Health Authority instructions. The manager should notify Erin Bascom and/or Kim Sharpe immediately upon confirmation of positive test result. The manager should be prepared to provide information such as the employee’s previous 2-week schedule, class assignment, etc.
  3. Erin or Kim will reach out to Public Health on behalf of VIU for assistance on managing a COVID-19 case on campus.  
  4. VIU will take their lead on communication from Public Health, so no information should be shared by the manager with any other employee or student until Erin or Kim has made contact with Public Health and have received clear directions. Public Health is responsible for contact tracing however VIU may be able to provide assistance to expedite this process as well as to determine appropriate communication for VIU. VIU has a Case Coordination and Support Team that is made up of a few key VIU Departments that may also be involved as required (e.g. Student Affairs, VIU Residences and Communications).
    1. Other workers may ask you questions if they have been in communication with the affected worker or other colleagues. Let them know that any employee leave is confidential but VIU has a written protocol for managing illness relating to COVID-19, which includes working closely with public health and that any impacted employees will be notified by public health, if necessary.
  5. Returning to campus: An employee diagnosed with COVID-19 must follow all guidance from their health care provider or the BCCDC, including instructions on self-isolation before returning to work activities both on and off campus. Steps on returning to campus following illness should be discussed with your manager prior to returning to campus.

 

Ending Self-Isolation and Returning to Work Activities

BCCDC Self Isolation Requirements can be found HERE

Step 1: The following criteria are met:

  1. At least 10 days have passed since any symptoms started, and…
    1. Your fever is gone without the use of fever-reducing medications (e.g. Tylenol, Advil), and
    2. You are feeling better (there is improvement in runny nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue). Coughing may go on for several weeks, so a cough alone does not mean you need to continue to self-monitor and self-isolate.

   2. You were self-monitoring and never developed any symptoms, or

   3. You were tested and the result was negative.

Step 2: Consult with a health care provider by either calling 811 or contacting your physician to verify that you have met the criteria.

Step 3: Contact your Manager and discuss your return to work.

 

 

                    

Contact:

Erin Bascom

250 740-6282

Erin.bascom@viu.ca

Kim Sharpe

250 740-6281

Kim.Sharpe@viu.ca