How to handle symptoms and infection among employees

If you are an AU employee with symptoms of COVID-19, stay home until you are well. Stay home even if your symptoms are mild. If you get sick with COVID-19, stay home until you have been symptom-free for 48 hours. If you start having COVID-19 symptoms at work, go home as quickly as possible. Stay home until you have been symptom-free for 48 hours, or until you test negative for the virus.

If you test positive for the COVID-19 virus, we encourage you to tell your manager immediately so that any close contacts at AU can be notified. Your manager will help you clarify which colleagues and students you have been in contact with.


Contact tracing and information

When someone is infected with the COVID-19 virus, preventive measures must be taken quickly and effectively in collaboration with government agencies and institutions to prevent the spread of infection. This includes identification of the people an infected person has been in close contact with. In general, this will include people the infected person lives with, some colleagues at work and possibly friends and family. Contact tracing and prevention are coordinated by the Danish Patient Safety Authority in collaboration with the affected person/employee and the workplace/AU. AU encourages everyone to download the national contact tracing app ’smitte|stop’.

In connection with contact tracing, AU’s role is to assist both infected employees and the Danish Patient Safety Authority in determining whether there are colleagues and students who are close contacts.

In the Danish Health Authority’s guidelines, a close contact is defined as:

  • Someone who lives with someone who is infected with the COVID-19 virus.
  • Someone who has had direct physical contact (such a hug) with a person who is infected with the COVID-19 virus.
  • Someone who has had unprotected, direct contact to body fluids that can cause infection from a person who is infected with the COVID-19 virus.
  • A person who has had close ‘face to face’ contact (less that one metre away) with a person who is infected with the COVID-19 virus for more than fifteen minutes (for example, during a conversation).
  • Healthcare personnel and others who have participated in caring for a patient infected with the COVID-19 virus who have not used PPE in accordance with the guidelines.

In relation to their employees, MANAGERS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR

  • helping to identify the colleagues and students an infected employee has been in close contact with at the university, together with the employee and the Danish Patient Safety Authority
  • immediately notifying the colleagues and students who have been in contact with the employee who is infected with the COVID-19 virus. Managers should inform close contacts of the following:
    • that someone they have been in contact with is infected with the COVID-19 virus (without revealing the identity of the infected employee)
    • that they should self-quarantine and take a COVID-19 test
    • that they should be particular vigilant about any possible COVID-19 symptoms
    • that they should be even more careful about adhering to the general guidelines on good hygiene
    • that they should consult the Danish Health Authority’s material for close contacts
  • making sure that deep cleaning of the infected employee’s work station and surrounding areas are performed without delay.
  • notifying their head of department/school/administrative centre/administrative division, who should then inform the dean/university director about the situation as quickly as possible
  • notifying Lea Sofie Staunsager, administrative officer at the Rector's Office, lss@au.dk, and Sys Christina Vestergaard, head of press and communication, scv@au.dk, about the case of infection. Please specify at which department/school/administrative unit the case of infection has occurred and whether colleagues/students are characterised at ‘close contacts’. It must not be possible to link the information about the infected person to a specific individual, and if there are less than 10 people in the unit, the name of the unit should not be specified.

  • notifying other relevant colleagues (who are not close contacts) that “an employee is on sick leave or has been sent home due to (the risk of) COVID-19, colleagues who are at risk of infection have been notified, and the workstation has been cleaned”. As a matter of principle, the specific health conditions of specific employees should not be named (pursuant to GDPR rules).