District Employee COVID-19 exposure protocols

Dear Faculty and Staff,

Thank you for your outstanding work during this time. We begin with some good news to share. There are no reported cases in our District of COVID-19.

However, if there is a confirmed case in our District, the San Mateo County Public Health Department will perform a contact investigation to identify which individuals were exposed. If necessary, the San Mateo County Public Health Department will contact Emily Barrick, CSM’s Director of Wellness. It is very important that we all understand that Emily is the single point of contact for all infectious disease exposures at the District. After being notified by the County about an exposure, Emily will then contact all of the individuals who were involved and let them know about next steps, including health guidance.

It is NOT appropriate for anyone else from our District to notify students, faculty, or staff that they may have been involved in a COVID-19 exposure.

For potential exposures on campus that are not confirmed by the County, it is best practice to continue to encourage students to shelter at home and call their healthcare provider if they are not feeling well. If they live in San Mateo County and do not have insurance, they can seek medical care at San Mateo Medical Center.

As much as possible, we want to eliminate unnecessary alarm if there are no tested and confirmed cases of COVID-19. It is also necessary to protect the privacy of the potentially infected individual. If a student reaches out to you about their health concerns and you think there may have been a COVID-19 exposure on campus, please contact Emily Barrick at barricke@smccd.edu.

Note to keep in mind

Keep in mind that the maximum incubation period for COVID-19 is considered to be 14 days and the median is 5 days. The incubation period is the amount of time between exposure to an infection and the appearance of the first symptoms. For instance, if an individual was on campus and appeared sick with COVID-19 14 days or more ago, then the individuals who came in contact with them would have more than likely already displayed symptoms if they had the virus. Symptoms of COVID-19 include, but are not limited to: runny nose, sore throat, fatigue, cough, fever, and difficulty breathing (for severe cases).

Approximately 80% of coronavirus cases are mild and treated with rest; home isolation (staying at home except to get medical care and using a specific “sick room” away from other people in your home, and, if possible, using your own separate bathroom); by taking acetaminophen/Tylenol (if you are not allergic) for fever and discomfort; and by implementing good hygiene practices (cleaning your hands often, covering your coughs and sneezes with a flexed elbow, avoiding shared personal household items, and by cleaning all “high-touch” surfaces daily). 

Seek medical advice right away if you are sick and your symptoms are worsening (for example, you are having a difficult time breathing), if you have coronavirus symptoms and have been in close contact with a person known to have coronavirus or live in or have recently traveled from an area with ongoing spread of coronavirus. It is important to call ahead before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room so they can prepare for your arrival.  Visit this website from the CDC for additional information.

Again, thank you all for your patience, understanding, and hard work during this transition period.

San Mateo County Community College District Emergency Operations Center