COVID-19 Quarantine and Isolation Guidelines and Reporting Expectations
August 15, 2022
Dear Faculty and Staff,
As a follow up to Provost Ingram’s message on COVID-19 protocols for the Fall 2022 semester, I am writing today with information on the changes in our quarantine and isolation guidelines and reporting expectations for employees. These changes are made in consultation with the DeKalb County Health Department (DCHD), and incorporate the updates made last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). We know that COVID-19 is here to stay, and we are adjusting our protocols as we continue to evolve with COVID-19 as a part of our daily lives.
Updated COVID-19 Quarantine and Isolation Guidelines
The university’s quarantine and isolation guidelines have been updated on the Protecting the Pack website. There are a few key changes to note:
- Individuals exposed to COVID-19 no longer need to quarantine. They are expected to mask for 10 days following the exposure and should get tested five (5) days following the exposure.
- Individuals who experience COVID-19 symptoms are expected to isolate and get tested as soon as possible to determine if they are positive for the virus.
- Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 will continue to be required to isolate for five (5) days from symptom onset or positive test (whichever is earlier).
Reporting Expectations for Employees
Effective with this announcement, employees no longer need to report symptoms, positive tests or exposures to COVID-19 through the Protecting the Pack website. As a result, they will no longer need to be cleared by HRSCOVID@niu.edu before returning to work on campus. Employees are expected to follow the university’s COVID-19 Quarantine and Isolation Guidelines on the Protecting the Pack website and notify their supervisors when they will be absent for illness. We expect our fellow Huskies to make safe and thoughtful decisions by monitoring for symptoms, staying home when sick, testing to determine if they have COVID-19 and following the return to work on campus guidelines.
Employee and Supervisor Information Sharing
Employees are expected to follow the university’s COVID-19 Quarantine and Isolation Guidelines and return to work when they meet the necessary criteria. Supervisors are not expected to clear employees to return to work. Employees are encouraged to share information with their supervisors about their absence if related to COVID-19; however, they are not required to share specific health information if they are not comfortable doing so. Employees who have questions or need assistance in their specific situation should contact HRSCOVID@niu.edu for consultation and guidance. Supervisors should also contact HRSCOVID@niu.edu if they feel the isolation guidelines are not being followed or need guidance on a specific situation. Human Resource Services can contact employees regarding their situation to confirm university protocols are followed.
Paid Administrative Leave for COVID-19 Related Absences
Given the updated quarantine and isolation guidelines, the paid administrative leave program for COVID-19 related reasons has been amended as well. This program provides benefits to eligible employees above and beyond their personal accrued sick leave for COVID-19 qualifying leave reasons. Effective with this announcement, the university will now pay administrative leave benefits for the following reasons:
- The employee is in required isolation because of a confirmed positive COVID-19 diagnosis through a laboratory-based test.
- The employee is unable to work because he, she or they are caring for a child who is unable to attend school or daycare because of a COVID-19 qualifying reason.
Please note: While employee reporting requirements through Protecting the Pack are changing, documentation of COVID-19 vaccine and positive tests will continue to be required to be shared with Human Resource Services for paid administrative leave benefits. Additional information on the paid administrative leave benefit and the request form to apply can be found on the Human Resource Services website.
Any questions on this announcement should be directed to HRSCOVID@niu.edu.
I would like to thank you in advance for your diligence in supporting these changes to our COVID-19 protocols and continuing to take the necessary steps to Protect the Pack.
Sr. Associate Vice President and Chief Human Resource Officer
Northern Illinois University