Frequently Asked Questions About COVID-19 Health Screening for Employees

June 4, 2020

What is the new health screening requirement?
The New Hampshire Governor’s Economic Reopening Taskforce distributed universal guidelines for New Hampshire employers to put in place to provide a healthy work environment. Effective immediately and
until further notice, employers are required to have a process for screening all employees reporting for work for COVID-19 related symptoms. All employees who are sick or not feeling well are required to stay
home.

Who must follow the screening requirement guidelines?
Any employee, including student employees and post docs, who come to Plymouth State Univeristy’s campus or report to any work-related site outside of the home, is required to follow the guidelines every day they do so, effectively immediately and until further notice.

What do the health screening requirements require
No more than 1.5 hours before arriving to work, employees are required to take their temperature and login to an online portal to review a brief health self-assessment and confirm the answer to the five questions related to COVID-19 exposure and symptoms is no. They must also follow the recommendation on whether they should report to work or for authorized activities.

What are the questions that must be answered every day?
The questions, as set out in the state guidelines, are:

  1. Have you been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19? Only answer yes if you have
    not already self-quarantined
  2. Have you had a fever or felt feverish in the last 72 hours?
  3. Are you experiencing any new respiratory symptoms including a runny nose, sore throat, cough
    or shortness of breath?
  4. Are you experiencing any new muscle aches or chills?
  5. Have you experienced any new change in your sense of taste or smell?
    Employees should use some discretion when responding to the questions as they are intended to identify unexplained or new symptoms. If, for example, you have muscle soreness due to gardening or other typical exertion, but have no fever or other COVID related symptoms, you may report to work that day.

What if I have a temperature of 100.0 F or higher, or I don’t pass the screening?
Employees should not go to campus or any other place they are doing their PSU work. Employees who are on campus, or at a worksite already, must leave immediately and contact their physician. They must also notify their supervisor that they will not be at work.

I took the self-assessment and have been informed I cannot work or do research or other educational activity on campus because of one of my answers. I do not believe my answer is related to COVID-19.
How can I get permission to be on campus?

If you responded to the survey in earnest and were told not to report to work, but you do not believe the symptom is specifically related to COVID-19, contact your health care provider to discuss. Until and unless your medical provider confirms that you do not have a diagnosis of COVID-19, you should not report to work and should follow the guidelines regarding sick employees.

Who can see the information that people are submitting through the five-question screening?
Information submitted will be treated as confidential.

If I’m only going to my office to pick up mail or get supplies and will only be there for a short time, do I have to comply with this requirement?
Yes. Anyone accessing a university building or any other work site is expected to comply.

What if I don’t have a thermometer? Can I be screened on campus?
If you need to have your temperature taken Health Services will be staffed from 7:00am to 9:00am. You can reach Health Services at 535-2350 to schedule a time, this option will be available beginning Monday, June 8. If your start time is prior to 7:00am please contact your Supervisor to coordinate having your temperature taken. If you need access to a computer to do the screening report please contact your Supervisor directly to coordinate

Do I need to wear a mask?
While at work and in public, employees should wear a cloth face covering to help protect against the spread of the virus. Employees should review the CDC’s guidance on use of cloth face coverings. Medical-grade masks should be reserved for healthcare workers or first responders. The university has masks available but employees are encouraged to wear their own masks to conserve the PPE supply. If you need a mask please contact your supervisor. Employee training will be communicated by the beginning of next week to help clarify the use of cloth face coverings while in the workplace. Please
contact Katie Caron, Director of Environmental, Health & Safety for questions regarding masks. Katie can be contact by email at: krcaron@plymouth.edu and by phone at 535-2254. This phone is staffed
from 7:00am to 3:00pm Monday through Friday.

I’ve been informed by my employee that they can not work based on the self-assessment. What should I do?
Instruct the employee to stay at home and follow guidance on the COVID-19 website about staying away from campus. Also, advise the employee to consult their primary care provider.