COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by SARS-CoV-2. There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19, and the best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus. The virus spreads mainly from person-to-person through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
Evidence shows that COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms (asymptomatic).
Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) has developed the following guidance and resources for the UNC-Chapel Hill community as we return to campus. The COVID-19 pandemic is rapidly evolving and EHS will update its guidance as new information becomes available. Please check back regularly for updates.
- Facial Mask that is used to contain an employee’s potentially infectious respiratory secretions. It is worn while in the presence of others.
- Nitrile gloves for employees with frequent physical contact with individuals (i.e. receptionist for student services).
- Perform hand hygiene for 20 seconds before donning mask.
- Properly don CPE by holding mask in hand against your face (positioned over your nose and under your chin), then pull straps around your ears.
- If your position interacts regularly with the general public (i.e. student interfacing), gloves are recommended.
- If gloves are worn, remove them first, then perform hand hygiene for 20 seconds before touching your mask for removal (eating, drinking or end of work time).
Disposing of CPE
- Always remove CPE in order from items most likely to be contaminated to those least likely to be contaminated. Then discard CPE in the proper waste container.
- See graphic from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for more information.
- Save masks for reuse if required by your department.
- Frequency of use will depend on availability of mask.
- Place in a paper bag with your name written on it.
- University-provided masks must be left at the workplace.
- Dispose of CPE in designated locations.
- These locations will be communicated by departments/ building managers
- Do not place CPE in recycling containers
Common Disinfectants Approved for COVID-19
- 10% bleach in water
- 70% ethanol
Disinfectant Contact Time
Disinfectants require a specific contact time in order to work. The majority require that you spray until the surface is thoroughly wet, then wait 5-10 minutes before wiping. If your disinfectant doesn’t have the specific contact time instructions on the label, that information should be available online.
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Repeated shaking with chills
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- New loss of taste or smell
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
Employees should self-monitor for these symptoms on a daily basis. Employees who develop fever or symptoms consistent with COVID-19 should immediately self-isolate and contact their primary care provider to arrange for medical evaluation and testing.
Employees who meet any of the below criteria are not allowed at work and must notify the University Employee Occupational Health Clinic (UEOHC) at 919-966-9119:
- Employees who have tested positive for COVID-19/SARS-COV-2 or have a household contact who had tested positive for COVID-19/SARS-COV-2 in the past 14 days must be assessed and cleared by UEOHC prior to starting/returning to work.
- Employees who have spent time in a factory, prison, group home, and/or congregate living facility that has been designated by a health department as having an outbreak of COVID-19/SARS-COV-2 (i.e., two cases of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19/SARS-COV-2 attributed to the facility) in the past 14 days must be assessed and cleared by UEOHC prior to starting/returning to work.
- Employees who are currently persons under investigation by a health department due to travel or other community-outbreak investigations must be assessed and cleared by UEOHC prior to starting/returning to work.
- Employees who develop fever or symptoms consistent with COVID-19/SARS-COV-2 should immediately self-isolate and contact their primary care provider to arrange for medical evaluation and testing.
- Employees who call out from/leave work due to COVID-19/SARS-COV-2 symptoms must be assessed and cleared by UEOHC prior to starting/returning to work.
- 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 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 (less than five days) loss of smell and taste?
- Do you have new onset of vomiting or diarrhea not related to another medical condition?
- Have you had recent close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19?