If I am aware of a specific COVID-19 case among my staff members or an employee discloses that they have been in contact with an infected individual, what should I do?
- Avoid identifying the infected employee by name.
- Avoid making any direct or indirect references that would lead other employees to guess the identity of the affected individual.
- Remind employees that discrimination or harassment against individuals that are suspected to have tested positive for, or been exposed to, coronavirus is prohibited.
If I am asked whether an employee or student has tested positive for COVID-19, how should I respond?
If your unit has had a confirmed case, you can respond by saying, “I can confirm that an individual has tested positive for COVID-19, but to protect privacy, I cannot tell you the individual’s name.”
How should I respond to a general inquiry related to someone at Rutgers who may have tested positive for COVID-19?
If the inquiry relates to an employee by name, please refer the person asking the question to contact that person for more information, for example, “If you want to know whether X has COVID-19, you should ask X.” For general inquiries about whether any individual has been infected, it is appropriate to respond by saying, “An individual [at Rutgers or in a unit] has tested positive for COVID-19, but to protect privacy, I cannot tell you the name. Our process at Rutgers includes directly contacting individuals likely to have been in close proximity with the infected individual so that they may receive appropriate care.”
My employees are concerned that they might have been in close contact with an individual at Rutgers who might have COVID-19. How should I respond?
It is appropriate to respond, “An individual was confirmed positive with COVID-19. That individual was physically present in [specify locations] during the last [14 days]. If you are experiencing symptoms or think you may have been in close contact with an infected individual, contact Occupational Health or see your primary healthcare provider. Occupational Health will contact you directly if it is likely that you were in contact with an infected employee.”
Advisory, Consultative, and Deliberative