Covid-19 response

What do we do if we have a staff member who tests positive?

  • 1.  What do we do if we have a staff member who tests positive?

    Posted 12-10-2020 13:17
    Edited by Timothy Atkinson 01-05-2021 12:23
    The staff member will have to isolate for at least 10 days in accordance with CDC guidance ( and NY State guidance is currently 14 days of isolation. There is no "essential worker" provision that reduces this isolation period.
    For COVID-19, a close contact is anyone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a total of 15 minutes or more. An infected person can spread COVID-19 starting from 48 hours (or 2 days) before the person has any symptoms or tests positive for COVID-19. The 15 minutes of time is cumulative over a day and the use of cloth facemasks are not consider to be a sufficient infection control.
    Therefore, if you have a veterinarian who is positive, it is likely that one or more other staff could be exposed. NY public health officials recommend that the exposed staff should quarantine for 14 days (Both NYS and CDC say 10 days is the miminum but recommend 14). While exposed staff could come back as essential workers, the public health officials I have talked to advise against this. They are concerned that people who have been in contact with the infection who don't quarantine and come back earlier as essential workers will be in close contact with others, and infection will spread.
    A potential solution is, if possible, to form hospital "pods". Create teams of veterinarians, LVTs and assistants that work as a team. If one "pod" member is positive, only that team goes out. Other teams should still be operational.

    Tim Atkinson
    Albany NY