COVID-19 Response and Updates
Columbus State University Updates
Updates to Columbus State's COVID-19 procedures and Response Team FAQs
May 3, 2022
Per guidance issued by the Georgia Department of Public Health in April 2022, Columbus State University is immediately ending all contact tracing processes and shifting those responsibilities back to the GDPH. As part of that shift, the GDPH focus will be on high-priority COVID-19 events and not on individual cases.
Changes to Response Team staffing and Processes
In response to those changes, Columbus State is discontinuing its COVID-19 Response Team, effective Friday, May 13, 2022. With regard to public health tracking, CSU:
- will continue to report any positive COVID-19 cases identified through CSU Student Health Center testing to the GDPH.
- is no longer responsible for reporting testing that occurs outside the Student Health Center (e.g., at-home testing, pharmacy testing, etc.)
- is no longer required to track COVID-19 occurrences on campus. This means CSU will no longer make case management notifications of exposure, symptomatic, or positive cases; post that data on the university's website; or share those updates through university communication channels.
Action Items in Response to a Positive COVID-19 Test
Anyone testing positive should visit the GDPH COVID-19 Guidance website for information and suggested next steps. Likewise, faculty and supervisors should refer anyone reporting a positive test to this site as well. Generally speaking, testing positive for COVID-19 will fall under Columbus State's existing policies for classroom or workplace illness.
Students who test positive are responsible for notifying faculty of their classroom absence. Students experiencing symptoms can contact the Student Health Center (706-507-8620 or firstname.lastname@example.org) for testing.
Faculty should work with students who report COVID-19 illness in the same way they do with students experiencing other illnesses. No special or additional accommodations are encouraged or required.
Residential Hall Considerations
On-campus residents are still encouraged to leave campus for their five-day isolation period.
Employees who test positive should notify their supervisors and the Office of Human Resources (706-507-8920 or email@example.com). Employees absent from work due to COVID-19 should expect to request leave to cover their absence as they would in the wake of any other illness.
Employees experiencing symptoms should contact their primary care physicians or seek out testing opportunities within the community.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to continue to submit the CSU COVID-19 self-report if I am positive/symptomatic/exposed?
No. The COVID-19 online self-reporting form will no longer be required or available after Friday, May 13, 2022.
Will the COVID-19 Response Team continue notifications to professors for students who are ill?
No. The COVID-19 Response Team will discontinue its service effective May 13, 2022. As a result, students should notify faculty of their absence themselves, just as they would with any other illness.
Will the COVID-19 Response Team continue to contact trace?
No. After the COVID-19 Response Team discontinues its activity on May 13, 2022, all contact tracing responsibilities will shift back to the Georgia Department of Public Health.
If I am a student living in a residential hall, do I have to go home if I test positive for COVID-19?
CSU encourages residential students to isolate away from campus.
If a student or coworker informs me that they are COVID-19 positive, am I responsible for notifying my class/their co-workers?
No, the student or coworker should report their own positive status to the Georgia Department of Public Health, which will contact trace if necessary. If you receive information about someone's health status, even information unrelated to COVID-19, you should treat that information as confidential.
How do I submit a request for fogging or electrostatic cleaning?
The university will no longer provide fogging, electrostatic cleaning or other COVID-era heightened cleaning procedures after May 13.
Are there still opportunities to be vaccinated on campus?
The Georgia Department of Public Health's mobile clinic will continue to appear on Main Campus near the Student Recreation Center most Wednesdays during the fall and spring semesters. Students, employees and members of the community are welcome to obtain vaccinations there without an appointment.
Will CSU continue to post campus COVID-19 numbers and data on the COVID-19 website?
No, CSU will no longer collect and report this data after May 13.
Who should I contact if I have COVID-19 questions?
Please visit the Georgia Department of Public Health website or your primary healthcare provider if you have questions. Students may also contact or visit the Student Health Center. with questions or testing needs. Employees with concerns about workplace absences due to COVID-19 should contact the Office of Human Resources.
What should I do if I notice a significant number of my students or employees advising me that they are positive for COVID-19?
In these situations, please contact the Student Health Center or the Office of Human Resources.
If I have a student or employee who is actively ill or experiencing disruptive symptoms, may I ask them to leave class or the workplace?
Yes, you may ask them to leave. Advise the student to reach out to the Student Health Center for additional guidance. Employees should contact the Office of Human Resources for additional guidance. Likewise, supervisors should contact the Office of Human Resources if they have advised an employee to leave work.