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COVID-19 travel policy and exposure/quarantine updates (Dec. 4)

UMass Medical School Communications

December 04, 2020

Travel Policy Changes

Beginning Dec. 5, the following adjustments to the UMMS travel policy will take effect. As a reminder, the policy you should follow is determined by your work site.

If you work at a clinical site, follow the UMass Memorial Health Care travel policy, which mirrors the state’s travel order and requires that, following travel, a negative COVID-19 PCR be submitted to Employee Health Services. Clearance by Employee Health Services is required before returning to work.

If you work in medical school buildings (e.g. Medical School, LRB, ASC, Biotech 2 or the Clinical Research Center in the ACC), follow the UMMS travel guidance, which requires the following actions:

  • Complete the UMMS travel form prior to departure.
  • If you travel within New England and New York, obtain a COVID-19 PCR test up to 72 hours prior to return, or upon arrival with quarantine until the test results are known. Email Gladys Matos if you need a test upon returning from travel. Submit results to and do not return to your work site until Infection Control has cleared you to do so.
  • If you travel outside of New England, New York or engage in ANY air travel or international travel, quarantine for 14 days OR obtain a COVID-19 PCR test on day seven and quarantine until the result is available. Email Gladys Matos if you need a test upon returning from travel. Submit results to and do not return to your work site until Infection Control has cleared you to do so.

RETURN FROM TRAVEL COVID-19 PCR TESTING IS NOT PERFORMED IN THE FACULTY CONFERENCE ROOM (FCR); you will be directed to our alternate testing site for higher risk individuals.

The policy for students is similarly based upon where they spend their time on campus, but students must fill out the student health form, submit results to Student Health Services, and be cleared by them in order to work/study.

Dually employed physicians must complete the UMMHC travel form and, if they are working in research or academic settings, also fill out UMMS travel form.

Exposure to SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) and Quarantine

Personnel whose work does not require an on-site presence (most of the UMMS community, including remote employees) until recently would have quarantined for 14 days. However, this week the CDC published new guidelines with options to reduce the exposure-related quarantine from 14 days to 10.

Exposed but asymptomatic personnel whose jobs require them to be on-site (e.g. health care workers) may continue to go to work with active monitoring for symptoms and fastidious adherence to PPE, distancing and hand hygiene guidelines. Outside of the work environment, they must follow the CDC’s new quarantine guidelines to prevent spread to their friends, family and community.

Examples of what constitutes close contact, or exposure include:

  • Being within 6 feet of someone for 15 minutes or more in the absence of mask and eye protection.
  • Caring for someone with COVID-19 without appropriate PPE.
  • Direct contact (e.g. hugging/kissing) with someone with COVID-19.
  • Sharing eating or drinking utensils.
  • Having someone with COVID-19 sneeze, cough or otherwise expose you to their respiratory droplets.

Symptomatic vs Asymptomatic Individuals

To be clear, any employee or student who is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should stay home and not come to campus.

In addition, regarding COVID-19 exposures:

  • Non-clinical employees and students who have had a known or suspected exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19 should not come to work, and they should contact EHS (508-793-6400) or SHS (508-334-2818) to have testing ordered.
  • Clinical employees with community exposures should call EHS. For in-hospital exposures (patients or staff), please contact your clinical manager. Your manager will submit your information to hospital Infection Control, which will coordinate with EHS and then contact you. In this situation, please do not reach out to EHS directly. Call volumes are extremely high adding to this will only increase response times.

COVID-19 PCR TESTING OF EXPOSED EMPLOYEES/STUDENTS IS NOT PERFORMED IN THE FCR. EHS or SHS must order PCR tests for University Campus employees. This testing of employees and students will take place directly at the clinical lab and is available 7 days per week, 7 a.m. – 9 p.m., with no long lines. EHS will provide detailed instructions for submitting your specimen; there are options to use the University tube system as well as drop-off sites at Memorial and Hahnemann.