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COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

Below is a list of frequently asked questions from associates about COVID-19. We are making every effort to keep this document updated, but the most current information will be available in the E-Connection, on our blog, and on Facebook and TwitterFind an FAQ archive (March-September 2020).

Who makes decisions about when associates need to quarantine?

This is a team effort. Employee Health Nurse Christina Hasenkamp works with Chief of Provider and Clinic Operations Merica Surdez along with the associate’s County Public Health Department and KDHE to determine when associates need to quarantine and for how long. Each situation is highly individual.

What is a direct contact, and how long is the required quarantine?

When someone tests positive for COVID-19, public health authorities look back 48 hours prior to determine who needs to be notified as a “direct contact.” If you are notified that you were in contact with someone who has tested positive, Employee Health and the County Public Health Department will how close you were, for how long, and whether you and the other person were wearing a mask. Answers to those questions will determine whether you need to quarantine. If you quarantine, it will be for 14 days from the day of exposure.

How does quarantine differ if someone in my household is positive for COVID-19?

If someone in your household, such as a child or a spouse, tests positive for COVID-19, quarantine becomes longer and more complicated because of the constant nature of the exposure. If, for example, your child tests positive, the child would quarantine for 10 days following onset of symptoms. Because you are a direct contact in the home, you would have to quarantine for 14 days following the last exposure, which would be end of your child’s quarantine. That means that you could be quarantined for 24 days. That time could become longer if the child’s symptoms are not better at the end of the 10-day period, so quarantine will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

If someone in your household tests positive but is able to isolate completely – such as by moving to a camper or trailer or by isolating on one level of the house without sharing a bathroom or kitchen with you – then your 14-day quarantine period would start on the day of last exposure, which might mean your quarantine would be shorter than if the spouse could not isolate.

What if someone in my household is exposed to COVID-19?

If someone in your household is exposed to COVID-19, you are a contact of a contact. You do not need to quarantine, but you need to monitor the situation closely. If the person who was exposed develops symptoms or tests positive, you will need to quarantine if you have been a close contact in the 48 hours prior to development of symptoms. Find a handout with steps to take

What should I do if I have symptoms?

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, don’t come to work. Contact your supervisor/manager, who will then contact the Employee Health Nurse. You should make an appointment to see your primary care physician and be tested, and you will need to quarantine until results are received. If you test positive, you will need to quarantine for 10 days following initial onset of symptoms. You will also need to complete an illness form and send it to the Employee Health Nurse. If you have symptoms but no known direct contact AND you test negative and don’t have a fever, you’ll be allowed to come back to work. Find a handout with steps to take.

What should I do if I have symptoms but I think they are seasonal allergies or another chronic condition that I already know about?

You should treat any symptoms with great care during the pandemic. The onset of symptoms can be quite gradual, and symptoms can be mild. It’s best to stay home from work and contact your primary care physician to decide whether you should be tested.

What is modified quarantine, and when can associates use it?

Modified quarantine is granted in some instances to associates who have been exposed to COVID-19 but who are not symptomatic. Permission for modified quarantine is granted by the County Public Health Department for the associate’s county of residence and means that the associate can go ONLY to and from work (no errands or going out in public anywhere else is allowed). The associate also must wear a KN95 masks, check temperature twice each day, fill out symptom logs, and take other precautions such as never removing their mask unless isolated from others (such as while in their vehicle). Modified quarantine will be granted only in cases in which a department would have to cease operations and patient care would suffer. This status is not easily obtained from health departments.

Will I get paid if I miss work because of COVID-19?

Associates who are in quarantine because they are a close contact, because they are symptomatic and awaiting diagnosis, because they have tested positive for COVID-19, or because they need to care for an affected family member can fill out a form to receive Emergency Administrative Leave for up to 80 hours. The form is available in PowerDMS. Send the form to Human Resources.   

Why does someone who tests positive have to quarantine for only 10 days, whereas someone who is exposed must quarantine for 14 days?

COVID-19 is most likely to be transmitted 10 days after someone becomes ill, but the people around a positive case can become ill for up to 14 days after direct exposure.

If I need a COVID-19 test or doctor visit to clear me to come back to work, how are those billed?

These items will be billed to your insurance, not to CHCS. In other circumstances that require a doctor’s note (such as for associates who have missed three days of work for an illness), the associate’s insurance is also billed.

    Where can I ask questions?

    Please do not call health departments or other outside entities. Please direct questions to your manager or send them to [email protected]  

    Find an FAQ archive (March-September 2020)