Health Clearance Protocol for Health Professions Students
Please note that as the COVID pandemic evolves, all guidance and protocols are subject to change. This protocol is effective as of April 7, 2022. Failure to follow this protocol is a deficiency in professional behavior and may be cause for disciplinary action.
What to do if you have a POSITIVE COVID-19 test:
- Make sure Campus Health is aware of the positive test. Positive results obtained outside of Campus Health or the CTTP clinic should be entered in at the website to https://go.unc.edu/covidpositive. If testing was done through Campus Health or the CTTP clinic, they will already have your results. You do not need to contact Campus Health by phone to let them know results.
- If you have a positive test result, regardless of vaccination status, whether or not you have symptoms, and regardless of where the test was performed, immediately self-isolate. Campus Health will contact you with further instructions once they have your results.
- Return to class or clinical rotations may vary depending on the site.
- Foundation Phase students: follow instructions from Campus Health on when to return. Currently it is 5 full days but this may change. You will NOT receive a clearance letter from Campus Health at the end of your isolation. Do NOT enter any hospital buildings or clinics (this includes cutting through to get to class until it has been a full 10 days). Wear a mask for a full 10 days.
- Students on Clinical Rotations: follow the guidelines of your health system when student can return. Length of isolation may vary based on the system and may differ from the recommendations of Campus Health. It is the student’s responsibility to find out the appropriate isolation time from the supervisors. Currently at UNC H it is 10 days but this may change. You will NOT receive a clearance letter from Campus Health at the end of your isolation.
What to do if you have possible SYMPTOMS of COVID-19:
All students are required to self-monitor for symptoms on a daily basis:
- Do you have new muscle aches not related to another medical condition or another specific activity (e.g. due to physical exercise)?
- Do you feel like you may have a temperature of greater than 100.0°F?
- Do you have sore throat, runny nose and/or congestion not related to another medical
condition (e.g. allergies)?
- Do you have a new or worsening cough that is not related to another medical condition?
- Do you have shortness of breath that is not attributable to another medical condition?
- Do you have recent (<5 days) loss of smell and taste?
- Do you have new onset of vomiting or diarrhea not related to another medical condition?
- If you answer yes to any of the questions above, immediately self-isolate. Students who are symptomatic must be tested (PCR test) for COVID-19 regardless of vaccination status. Do not go to a Carolina Together testing site! Follow Campus Health instructions for testing. You may not attend class or clinical rotations until your COVID test results come back.
- If symptomatic, you may seek a test on your own without calling Campus Health for evaluation first. Instructions for obtaining a diagnostic test are available on the Campus Health website. If you need to speak to a provider you may call 919-966-6573 (number specifically for Health Professions Students).
- If your PCR test result is NEGATIVE, you may return to classes or the healthcare setting (i.e., clinical rotations) once your symptoms resolve/improve. You must be fever-free without antipyretics (fever-reducing medicines such as Tylenol) for at least 24 hours, AND you must have had no diarrhea or vomiting for at least 48 hours, regardless of the cause. Return to class or clinicals may be allowed without full resolution of all symptoms (e.g., cough) so long as those symptoms are improving and your test is negative. Call Campus Health or consult with your clinical coordinator/preceptor/facility Occ Health if unsure about whether return is permitted.
- If your test result is POSITIVE, you will be required to isolate. Follow the instructions above for positive tests.
What to do if you are EXPOSED to COVID-19:
If you are exposed to COVID-19, whether at home, in the community, in class, in rotations, or at work, you must be extra-vigilant about self-monitoring and proper use of PPE for a period of time after exposure. Follow CDC guidelines for quarantine & testing following exposure**.
If you have been fully vaccinated and boosted (if eligible), you may continue normal activities as long as asymptomatic. If you have been granted a vaccine exemption, or if you have been vaccinated but have not received a booster for which you are eligible, you will need to quarantine (stay home) as recommended in the guidelines. [See HOW TO Quarantine or Isolate (CDC).]
If you notice ANY symptoms during this time, even if very mild, you must immediately self-isolate and follow the instructions above for symptoms.
If any post-exposure test is POSITIVE, you will be required to isolate. Follow the instructions above for positive tests.