Dear EGSC Faculty and Staff,
Congratulations on a great start to fall semester! Starting any new academic year is a challenge. This year, however, you have faced unprecedented challenges due to COVID-19. Thanks for accepting the additional responsibilities placed upon you to conduct classes and provide student services in entirely new ways.
I have written to you and the students recently about one additional responsibility: EGSC's new COVID-19 Self-Reporting form and procedures.
As discussed in my prior messages, a link to this form is located prominently in the bright yellow bar at the top of the college’s home page www.ega.edu:
Here is what I told the students today about using this form:
“This form should be used if you now tested positive for COVID-19, are now o experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, or have just been directly exposed to someone who has COVID-19. If any of these things happen now, please don’t wait. Fill out the online form right away. A college representative will call you shortly to discuss.
Why fill out this form? It is part of our shared responsibility to keep our entire college community healthy and safe. For example, all of us have heard over and over that it is possible to transmit COVID-19 to someone else (perhaps a roommate, one of your professors, an EGSC staff member, or a member of your family) even though you don’t show signs of COVID-19 (i.e., you are asymptomatic). Using this quick form will enable you and the college to reduce risks to others.”
I am writing today to ask you to use this form if you become aware of any of the above situations. For example, a student you encounter might exhibit COVID-19 symptoms or might voluntarily disclose that they have tested positive. If that happens, please fill out the online form right away. Also, please remember the following information which I shared with you last Friday:
- Maintaining privacy of personally identifiable medical information is critical. In addition to adhering to the protocols and while receiving student and employee reports of illness or absence, all employees must take the utmost care in handling any personal medical information that is disclosed to them by a student or employee. In many instances, students or employees disclose personally identifiable medial information by email or other electronic means voluntarily, and not at the college’s request. Please do not ask students or employees for personal medical information documenting their absence; instead, the student or the employee should be directed to the self-report form. The small team appointed by me to carry out this process will follow up with the student or employee.
- Please, do not ask students or employees to send documents with personally identifiable medical information by email or other electronic means. Email is not a secure method for transmitting this information.
- If a student or employee does send personal medical information to you, do not forward that information. Please remember the student or employee did NOT consent for you to share this information (by a forwarded email, verbally, or otherwise) with others. Forwarding the student or employee information violates privacy laws. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the information can be shared only with the COVID-19 Response Team. If you receive personally identifiable medical information from a student or employee by email or other means, please contact Mary Smith or Linda Upchurch for instructions on sending the documents to them in a secure manner.
- Privacy of personally identifiable medical information is protected by a panoply of important state and federal laws, including HIPAA. EGSC respects those privacy rights and complies strictly with these laws.
Thanks for all you are doing to keep our entire Bobcat family healthy and safe. You are appreciated. Please stay healthy and safe.
East Georgia State College