Dear Faculty, as we have potential for VM4 students to become exposed to COVID-19 and be part of contact tracing activities, it is important for you to understand how this potentially affects them or anyone else in our community.
Individuals who have had close contact (<6 ft for 15 minutes or more) with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 should follow CDC guidelines which recommend home quarantine for 14 days after the last known exposure with a positive case, checking temperature and symptoms daily, and avoiding contact with individuals at higher risk for developing complications from COVID-19. More detailed information can be found on the CDC website here.
Our Lloyd Veterinary Medical Center, Field Services Units, Veterinary Pathology and Veterinary Diagnostic Lab are considered to be part of the critical infrastructure at Iowa State. Individuals (faculty, staff and 4th year students) who work in these areas have an exception to current home quarantine guidelines allowing them to work after having been exposed to COVID-19 if they remain asymptomatic and additional precautions are implemented to protect them and the community (including enhanced cleaning, the use of face coverings, and physical distancing). This exception is given for the critical work only and individuals should continue to follow home quarantine guidelines (detailed at the link above) when not at work. More detailed CDC guidance for critical infrastructure employees can be found here.
As contact tracing occurs by Story County Public Health and Iowa State Public Health Case Management team, individuals are being told to home quarantine and to contact their supervisor. Students are likely to contact the faculty person in-charge of the rotation for direction on returning to work/clinics. As indicated above, in accordance with CDC guidelines, as part of the essential workforce the expectation is that individuals (employees and 4th year students) will continue to show up to work/clinics as long as they remain asymptomatic and we continue to follow our guidelines to protect them and the community (including enhanced cleaning, the required use of face coverings, and physical distancing). Individuals must also continue to self-monitor for clinical signs.
Possible exposure does not mean infection. The implementation of our COVID-19 guidelines which require the use of face covering, physical distancing, and enhanced cleaning are designed to mitigate COVID-19 transmission. Any student or employee testing COVID-19 positive, will be required to self-quarantine regardless whether they are asymptomatic or not.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact your Department Chair, Dr. Stephanie West, or Dr. Rodger Main.
Dan Grooms DVM, PhD
Dr. Stephen G. Juelsgaard Dean Of Veterinary Medicine