Guidance for Supervisors

What should I do if an employee reports symptoms of COVID-19, is visibly ill in the workplace or has tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 10 days? 

Any COVID-19 symptoms are assumed to be due to COVID-19 and are treated as such until a medical professional determines otherwise.  

Actions for the supervisor:
  • If the employee is on campus, ask the employee to go home to isolate immediately.  
  • If the employee declines, try to facilitate a discussion with them on the reason and help resolve their concerns.  
  • If the employee still declines, contact Human Resources for further instructions.  

  • Instruct the employee to report their illness by filling out this form. Reporting illnesses will greatly help ISU manage COVID-19 spread on campus and this information will be kept confidential.  
  • If you are concerned that the employee did not complete the form contact the COVID-19 hotline at or (208) 282-2705.
  • Do not notify other employees or units about the suspected illness without direction from the health committee. The health committee will work with the supervisor and the local health district to conduct contact tracing and provide follow-up notification for any colleagues, students, or other individuals who may have had close contact and therefore need to take additional measures.

  • The supervisor should email the following information to 
  • Prepare a list of the other people that the ill individual has had close contact with for the time period, including 72 hours before symptom onset. Close contact is interaction within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 for at least 10 minutes whether or not they had symptoms. 
  • The health team will reach out to provide additional next steps and guidance. 

  • If the employee was on campus while symptomatic, close the workspace and contact Facilities Services for cleaning. 

  • If possible given the specific job duties, the severity of illness, and agreement between the employee and supervisor; the employee may perform telework activities. A telecommuting application does not need to be completed if it is expected that the employee can return to work after the isolation period. 

  • Encourage the employee to contact their primary care provider via phone for guidance in determining the cause of illness and appropriate treatment. If the person is symptomatic, a healthcare provider will recommend whether they should be tested for COVID-19. If the employee does not have a primary care provider they can contact University Health at (208) 282-2330 (Idaho Falls, Pocatello or Twin Falls) or Unity Health (208) 895-6729 (Meridian).

  • The employee should follow the recommendations of a medical professional for testing and treatment. If the medical professional’s advice and recommendations differ from the guidance here, or you have questions or concerns contact

How long should an employee remain in isolation before returning to work?

(Positive or no COVID-19 Test) 
Maintain Isolation Until:
at least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared 
3 days with no fever 
respiratory symptoms have markedly improved (e.g. cough, shortness of breath) 

(Positive COVID-19 Test) 
Maintain Isolation Until:
10 days have passed since the test was performed

What kind of cleaning needs to occur if someone is ill with COVID-19 symptoms in the workplace? 

Close the workspace as soon as you know of a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case and contact Facilities Services. The space needs to be closed for 24 hours prior to cleaning. Cleaning may commence if at least 24 hours have passed since the ill individual was last in the workplace. Contact Facilities Services for cleaning assistance. 

For information on Campus Cleaning and Disinfection, visit the Campus Hygiene FAQs.   

What should I do if an employee reports an exposure?

If the employee had close contact with a person known to have COVID-19, they are considered a primary contact. The employee should follow CDC guidelines:
  • Stay home until 14 days after last exposure and maintain social distance (at least 6 feet) from all others during that time.
  • Encourage the employee to self-report their exposure using this form.
  • Self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 by checking temperature twice a day, and watching for fever (100.4 ℉ or higher), cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms using the CDC Self-Checker Tool. Especially avoid contact with people at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 
  • Follow CDC guidance if symptoms develop 
  • Contact their primary care provider via phone to determine if they should be tested. If the employee does not have a primary care provider they can contact University Health at (208) 282-2330 (Idaho Falls, Pocatello or Twin Falls) or Unity Health (208) 895-6729 (Meridian).

What if an employee had close contact with person A who had close contact with person B who has COVID-19?

Person A is a primary contact. The employee is considered a secondary contact. Secondary contacts may continue usual activities with strict adherence to basic COVID-19 prevention measures including mask wearing, physical distancing, and handwashing. Secondary contacts should closely monitor for any symptoms. If Person A develops symptoms, the employee is now a primary contact and needs to quarantine. If the employee develops any symptoms of COVID-19, the employee should immediately self-isolate and seek medical care.

Example: Sally attended an outdoor barbeque on Friday with Fred. Sally spent 20 minutes standing next to Fred helping him with dishes after the barbeque (i.e. close contact with Fred). Fred learned on Saturday that his friend Mary has COVID-19. Fred had close contact with Mary on Thursday. Sally had no contact with Mary at any time. Fred is a primary contact and needs to quarantine for 14 days. Sally is a secondary contact and needs to monitor for symptoms and wait to learn if Fred develops symptoms or tests positive. She may continue usual activities with strict adherence to COVID-19 prevention measures. If Fred develops symptoms within 72 hours of the barbeque, Sally should then follow guidelines because she is now a primary contact.  

What if an ill or exposed employee refuses to follow guidance? 

If an ill or exposed employee refuses to follow guidance to isolate or quarantine for the appropriate duration of time, even if they are feeling well, contact Human Resources for guidance. You may also contact the COVID-19 Health Committee at or extension (208) 282-2705 to provide education to the employee. 

What if an employee will not wear a face covering?

Face coverings are an important part of helping our campus resume/continue operations and fulfill our shared duty to keep campus as safe as possible. If an employee comes to work without a face covering, they should be offered a disposable one. The face covering manager toolkit can provide additional guidance. If the employee still refuses, contact Human Resources at (208) 282-2517 for assistance.