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Exposure, illness, and returning to work

Here’s what to do if you or someone you’ve had close contact with have a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19. 

Please note: Broad requires regular COVID-19 tests for Broadies working onsite, and everyone must complete a health questionnaire before entering a Broad building. Learn more about these requirements.



 

Definitions

Close contact is defined as spending 15 minutes or more closer than six feet (regardless of mask use) over the course of 24 hours, having direct physical contact (like a hug, kiss, or handshake), or sharing eating or drinking utensils with an infected person, or being sneezed or coughed on by an infected person. Merely walking by or briefly sitting across an office or waiting room from an infected person does not count as close contact. 

Distancing means deliberately increasing the space between people to avoid spreading illness. Working from home (if you can), avoiding crowds and in-person meetings, staying six feet away from the closest person when you’re outside your home, staying home except for essential errands, and avoiding hugs or handshakes are distancing practices. 

Self-monitoring means being alert to changes in your health after a possible exposure to COVID-19. If you are asked to self-monitor, you should...

  • Take your temperature when you get up in the morning and again right before you go to bed (but not within 30 minutes of eating, drinking, or exercising or within 6 hours of taking acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or aspirin). Write it down in a log.
  • Call your healthcare provider if your symptoms concern you. Don’t just show up at your doctor’s office -- if there’s a possibility that you have COVID-19, your provider has to make preparations to protect staff and other patients.  

Isolating means staying home and avoiding contact with other people, including other members of your household because you have COVID-19 or are exhibiting symptoms. Self-quarantining means staying home and avoiding contact with other people, including other members of your household because you have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19.

If you are asked to isolate and/or self-quarantine...

  • Do not leave your room, apartment, or house.
  • Don’t spend time in shared areas of your home. Use a separate bathroom if you can.
  • Don’t share eating utensils, drinking glasses, towels, or any other items until your quarantine is over.
  • CDC has useful guidance for isolating and self-quarantining if you test positive or are ill or if you are a close contact of someone who tests positive.

 

Seeking medical care

If you are enrolled in Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) health insurance through Broad:

 

Returning to work after illness

If you have symptoms — but do not test positive for COVID-19 — there are three paths to return to work onsite after illness, depending on your symptoms:

  1. If you have only minor symptoms that resolve quickly: When you have been symptom-free (including fever-free without medication) for at least a full 24 hours, you may come onsite to 415 Main to get a COVID-19 test, but must return home and wait for results. You may answer “No” to the Healthquest question about symptoms in order to come to 415 Main for testing. If you receive negative test results and remain symptom-free, you may resume work.  
  2. If you have been fever-free for at least 24 hours and your symptoms have improved but not disappeared, you may get a COVID-19 test in order to return to work, but not at Broad. If your test results are negative, you may resume work onsite and may answer “No” to the Healthquest question about symptoms in order to come onsite. If your test results are positive, please call the COVID hotline, 617-714-7300.
  3. For more serious illness, or if you test positive for COVID-19: Stay home and isolate for at least 10 days or for however long it takes for your symptoms to resolve (including being fever-free without fever-reducing medications for at least 24 hours). If you have serious illness you should work with your physician to determine how long to isolate. No negative test is required before returning to work in this situation. 

Please reach out to the COVID-19 hotline (617-714-7300) if you need guidance on when to return. Resume routine testing when you return onsite, unless you have had a positive COVID test, in which case Broad is following guidance from the CDC and local public officials in asking that you don’t retest for 90 days.

 

See also: Self-monitoring and reporting questionnaireCOVID-19 testing for Broadies regularly working on-site, Travel guidanceSelf-quarantine, If I know of someone on my team who seems to be sick but is working, what should I do?