Respiratory Viruses: Guidance and Return-to-Work Criteria
Note that these guidelines take effect on December 20, 2022.
If you completed the questionnaire before December 20, and you are waiting on a response from the hotline or have been placed off work, you should use the new guidelines outlined below to return to work.
No work clearance notification will be sent beginning December 20.
Use the following information if you meet any of the following criteria:
Have respiratory illness symptoms
Have recently been exposed to COVID-19 at work
Have tested positive for a respiratory illness, including COVID-19
If you have respiratory illness symptoms
Stay home or go home if you are at work.
Notify your supervisor per departmental procedures.
Fill out and submit the Respiratory Virus Questionnaire (RVQ) as soon as you start to feel symptoms, unless you have ruled out COVID-19 by testing positive for another respiratory illness, such as flu, RSV or strep throat.
If you have tested positive for a respiratory illness other than COVID-19, or if COVID-19 has been ruled out by a PCR test:
You do not need to fill out the questionnaire.
Follow the below return-to-work guidance.
General return-to-work criteria for non-COVID-19 illness is as follows:
For other CLI/ILI symptoms, return-to-work criteria includes: rule-out of COVID-19 with a negative PCR, and rule-out of flu for individuals who work on high-risk units (see notes 2 and 3).
High-risk units apply to the following units on the NMH campus: All ICU and transplant units, including Prentice 14, 15 and 16; Feinberg 11E and 14E; and Galter 10 and 12.
Any other unit at any NM hospital may be declared a high-risk unit at the discretion of Infection Prevention.
To count days for return-to-work, the onset of symptoms happens on Day 0. Day 1 begins the next calendar day. For example: If symptoms begin on Sunday, Sunday is Day 0; Monday is Day 1; and the next Sunday is Day 7).
If you are absent from work due to illness:
Notify your immediate manager, or follow departmental or program policy.
Call the appropriate person at least two hours before the start of your shift.
For more information about absences, please refer to your department or division availability policy.
For more details on return-to-work following respiratory illness, please view the tools below.
Respiratory Virus Questionnaire
The questionnaire should be used any time a staff member has respiratory illness symptoms, if a staff member has chosen on their own to get tested and the result is positive for COVID-19.