As currently defined by the NIH OMS, a high-risk COVID-19 exposure is a contact with a person who tests/tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 which takes place at a distance of less than six feet for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period. Additionally, an exposure is defined as high-risk if the incident involves exposure of a person’s eyes, nose, or mouth to material potentially containing SARS-CoV-2. Low (or lower but not zero) risk exposures are evaluated on a variety of factors, including proximity to infected persons, the environment in which the exposure occurred, and the prevalence of face coverings or other PPE. The guidelines below incorporate assessments of both personal risk and risk of transmission to others. Definitions for terms in this section can be found in Appendix II - Exposure Risk Assessment Definitions.
Personnel with exposures
Personnel that have SARS-CoV-2 exposures will be subject to the following requirements, based upon the risk level of their exposure. The following requirements are mandatory except where reviewed and approved by NIH senior management. Please note, these updates do not apply to healthcare workers who are subject to more stringent requirements that remain unchanged and should report exposures to OMS for more specific instructions.
Onsite Staff who have a potential
COVID-19 exposure can report to work on campus (no quarantine) as long as all of the following conditions are met:
- You are completely asymptomatic.
- You wear an ASTM-3 mask at all times when on campus in the presence of others. Eating and drinking must be conducted alone, as the mask may not be removed for any reason in the presence of others.
- You must test on day 6 or later after and exposure. The day of the exposure is day 0. Tests may be antigen tests, PCR-based tests, or other FDA-approved COVID-19 test.
- If you become symptomatic, you must assume you are positive until a COVID-19 test, following CDC guidance, determines otherwise.
- If you test positive, please visit this page.
- If you test negative, you can continue to come to work, wearing a mask for 10 days post exposure. The day of exposure is day 0.
Email notification of testing results and surge responses
- If your on-campus test (as determined by OMS assessment) results are positive you may be notified first via email. At the time of your testing, please ensure that your NED profile includes contact information that you can access at home too (personal email) for faster return of results.
- During surge conditions with high case loads this email may serve as the only contact that OMS has with you. Follow the guidance in the email for return to work.