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COVID-19 Response and Updates

PROTECT CSU: COVID-19 Response Team

The information here comes from a training presentation for members of CSU’s COVID-19 Response Team as team members fulfill their duties to intake self-reported cases, notify those considered to be in close-contact situations, and to case manage students and employees in isolation or quarantine. The full PDF is available for download (PDF).

Columbus State University has established the COVID-19 Response Team for the purpose of providing an avenue for self-reporting, close contact notification, assisting all who are affected by the pandemic’s disruption, and providing a safe environment for the campus community.

The team responds to self-reported cases of positive COVID-19 test results, reported symptoms of COVID-19, and close contact with someone sick with or who tests positive for COVID-19. These reports are made by students and employees through CSU’s online COVID-19 Self-Reporting Form. It also receives reports, creates case files, advises reporters regarding testing, personal care, quarantine and isolation, notifies close contacts, and tracks and closes cases.

Partnerships

Through the University System of Georgia, Columbus State University is in partnership with the Georgia Department of Public Health for reporting and contact tracing. The university’s responsibility are the intake of self-reported cases, case management, and close contact notifications of persons who are members of the CSU campus community.

Columbus State University has a Memorandum of Understanding with Mercy Medical, LLC to receive and test individual students referred by the University’s Student Health Center; set up and test on-site at the university in the event of a possible COVID-19 cluster; and fulfill all NCAA testing requirements for student-athletes. These services will be provided at no cost to the university or individual.

Columbus State University has entered into a contract agreement with EMS Care Ambulance, LLC to provide non-emergency transport for students who need testing or other medical attention related to COVID-19 but have no other means of transportation.

Case Manager: team member who oversees all case files to ensure proper actions and contacts continue with a reporter until such time it is appropriate for the reporter to return to campus and the case manager to close the case.

Close Contact: defined by the Georgia Department of Public Health as:

  1. living with or caring for a person sick with or testing positive for COVID-19;
  2. being within six feet of a person sick with or testing positive for COVID-19 for 15 minutes or longer; and
  3. having contact with the saliva of a person sick with or testing positive for COVID-19.

Contact Tracing: a tool used by public health professionals to quickly identify people who have been exposed to an infectious disease and alert their potential contacts.

Intake: the process of gathering data from a reporter or close contact as part of creating a case file.

Intake Officer: the team member responsible for receiving intake data through a self-reported form, or talking to a reporter and completing the intake form, creating a case file and sending notices to the appropriate persons on campus.

Isolation: separating a sick person from healthy people by restricting the sick person to home for the duration of infectiousness; isolation lasts at least 10 days after onset of COVID-19; symptoms must be improving and no fever within the past 24 hours with no fever-reducing medicine to return to campus. Isolated persons cannot come to campus.

Notification: as part of the contact tracing with the Georgia Department of Public Health, this is the university’s responsibility to contact faculty, staff, and students who have had close contact with a person with COVID-19.

Notification Officer: the team member responsible for communicating with the identified close contacts.

Quarantine: restricting the movements of someone exposed to COVID-19 and his or her and contact with health people for 14 days since the last contact with the person who is infected. Quarantined persons cannot come to campus.

Reporter: the individual who files a report with the COVID-19 Response Team stating they have received a positive test for COVID-19, are experiencing symptoms related to COVID-19, and/or have been exposed to a person sick with or testing positive to COVID-19.

What the COVID-19 Response Team expects from faculty, staff and students:

  • To act in a responsible manner regarding washing their hands, wearing face coverings, following physical distancing guidelines and abiding by other public health guidance provided by the university
  • To self-monitor for symptoms related to COVID-19, which can be found at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html
  • To self-report if they
    1. are experiencing symptoms related to COVID-19;
    2. have come in close contact (as defined by the Georgia Department of Public Health) with someone sick with or has tested positive for COVID-19; and/or
    3. have received a positive test for COVID-19
  • To respect the privacy of others
  • To cooperate with and follow the instructions of the COVID-19 Response Team
  • To understand that if you...
    • Have any symptoms of COVID-19; or
    • Feel you may a close contact with someone with COVID-19; and/or
    • Have received a positive test for COVID-19
    • ...you should follow these steps:
      • If your symptoms are severe, contact your health care provider or the Student Health Center at 706-507-8620.
      • Please remain isolated/quarantined AND immediately complete the online self-reporting form.

Upon submission of this form a member of the COVID-19 Response Team will review it and contact you as soon as possible. If it is determined you do need to be away from campus for any length of time (e.g., isolation, quarantine), the Response Team will work to support you and your academic or employment success during this period.

What faculty, staff and students can expect from the COVID-19 Response Team:

  • To respect the privacy of all individuals who have self-reported and/or are identified as a close contacts
  • To take reasonable efforts in responding to all self-reports and contact notifications in a timely manner
  • To follow the established processes and procedures
  • To work collaboratively within the COVID-19 Response Team to assist other team members
  • To consult with the appropriate administrative and medical personnel, as needed, to ensure proper responses to reporters and close contacts
  • To not send additional notices to faculty or supervisors regarding the individual’s return date, unless it needs to be changed due to the individual’s particular case.

All members of the COVID-19 Response Team are cross-trained to be able to perform the other duties associated with these processes. Each member of the COVID-19 Response Team also signs the Confidentiality and Training Agreement. That agreement includes abiding by FERPA and HIPPA laws and regulations; maintaining personal and team confidentiality; and remaining engaged in the work of the team.

Administrative Members

  • Chip Reese, Ed.D., COVID-19 Team Chair; Associate Vice President for Student Affairs; and CSU Emergency Management Coordinator
  • Julio llanos, ATC, Assistant Professor, Kinesiology & Health Sciences; and Associate Athletic Director for Internal Operations
  • Sharon Renner, Ph.D., MPH, Content Consultant
  • Vicki Roebuck, APRN, WHNP-Board Certified, Medical Consultant; and Director, Student Health Center

Chief Intake Officers

  • Venus Frank, Human Resources Specialist
  • John McElveen, Ed.D., Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students
  • Sarah Secoy, Director of Residence Life

Backup Intake Officers

  • Carole Clerie, Director for Human Resources
  • Dana Larkin, Assistant Dean of Students
  • Scott Lundgren, Assistant Director for Residence Life

Chief Notification Officers

  • Carole Clerie, Director of Human Resources
  • Robin Peacock, Senior Residence Life Manager
  • Tracy Willey, Project Coordinator for Violence Against Women Program

Columbus State University has established the COVID-19 Response Team for the purpose of providing an avenue for self-reporting, close contact notification, assisting all who are affected by the pandemic’s disruption, and providing a safe environment for the campus community.

The team responds to self-reported cases of positive test results for COVID-19, reported symptoms of COVID-19, and close contacts of a person sick with or who tests positive for COVID-19. Team members receive reports, creates case files, advises reporters regarding testing, personal care, quarantine and isolation, notifies close contacts, and tracks and closes cases.

For individuals making a self-report of exposure to, experiencing symptoms of, or reporting a positive test for COVID-19, the university requires no documentation to corroborate the reporter’s claim of a positive test. Additionally, there is no documentation required for a reporter’s return to campus.

The Return-to-Campus Process

Determinations for a reporter’s return to campus are based on training received from the Georgia Department of Public Health. Consideration for when a reporter's isolation period should end is at least 10 days after onset of illness; symptoms must be improving and no fever within the past 24 hours with no fever reducing medicine. A reporter’s quarantine ends at least 14 days since the last contact with the person who is infected.

The intake officer works with each reporter to establish an initial return-to-campus date. The case manager will continue working with reporters as to their progress and adjust their return-to-campus date if needed, based in individual circumstances.

Team members may consult with the administrative members at any point in the process to ensure the accuracy of information. Much care is taken to consider when symptoms appeared, when positive test results were delivered, and/or the last day a close contact was with a person sick with or test positive for COVID-19.

The team may update these procedures as new information and guidance becomes available through the CDC, Georgia Department of Public Health, and/or the University System of Georgia.

Note: Download the training PDF (PDF) for flowcharts outlining the Reporting and Contact Notification process, Intake Officers Responsibilities and Case Manager & Notification Officers Responsibilities. In addition, the PDF provides examples of various documents used throughout the intake, notification and case management processes.