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Diagnosis and Exposure Response Plan

This plan was developed in conjunction with the District's Medical Advisor, Dr. Jeffrey Beeson of the UNT Health Science Center. It will continue to be updated as Center for Disease Control guidance and other research develops.

A face covering is not required but is always an option while on TCC property.

Any faculty, staff, or students feeling sick or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms must not report to campus.

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What is exposure?

One of the challenging aspects of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic is a clear understanding and definition of what constitutes exposure to COVID-19.

Exposure is when you have close contact (less than 6 feet apart) for 15 minutes or more with a person who has a confirmed COVID-19 test or medical diagnosis (even if that person isn't showing symptoms).

The CDC says close contact of 15 minutes or more is risky, regardless of one or each of you wearing a mask. This highlights the importance of maintaining a safe distance from others.

You should quarantine if you have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19.

However, if you've been recently exposed but meet the following criteria, you may not need to quarantine:

  • You have been fully vaccinated.
  • You were previously diagnosed with COVID-19 within the last three months.

If you're not sure you've met the CDC definition of exposure, jump to our exposure decision matrix.

How do I report exposure or a diagnosis?

Employees and students are required to report any exposure or positive tests by submitting the COVID-19 Diagnosis or Exposure Form.

The CDC recommends if you meet the definition of exposure with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, you should be tested yourself.

There are two reporting procedures depending on where you had your exposure:

  1. If it occurred in TCC facilities
  2. If it occurred off-campus

A. Reporting COVID-19 diagnoses or exposure for people who have been in TCC facilities

  1. Employee or supervisor completes the COVID-19 Diagnosis or Exposure Form for themselves, their staff, or a student reporting a diagnosis.
    1. Triggers deep cleaning of classroom, office, common facilities in building, etc.
    2. Human Resources/Emergency Management evaluate potential "close contacts" with other employees or students. Dean/supervisor directed to notify anyone determined to have close contact to quarantine per the schedule above.
  2. If unvaccinated, the employee or student determined to have close contact should seek testing at least 48 hours after the potential exposure. Find a potential testing site location. They should self-quarantine and may not visit TCC facilities until they meet TCC's symptom-based return to campus guidance.
  3. If fully vaccinated, the employee or student does not need to quarantine. They should continue to self-monitor and if symptoms develop, seek medical attention.

B. Reporting off-campus COVID-19 diagnosis or exposure


You should notify your instructor, who will complete a COVID-19 Diagnosis or Exposure Form on your behalf.

You should make arrangements with your instructor for course work completion.


You should notify your supervisor, who will complete a COVID-19 Diagnosis or Exposure Form on your behalf.

You should work with your supervisor to determine if Emergency Leave is appropriate, depending if you are ill.

When can I return to campus?

After a diagnosis or exposure, you must follow TCC's symptom-based return to campus guidance, as follows.

If you haven't been vaccinated

If you haven't been vaccinated and you meet one of the following conditions, you must quarantine away from campus:

  • Tested positive for COVID-19 or are awaiting results.
  • Had exposure to another person who has COVID-19.
  • Had a sick family member or roommate at home who tested positive for COVID-19. (This is presumed to be a close contact.)

You can return to campus only if you meet all the following conditions:

  • 10 days since your symptoms first appeared, and
  • 24 hours fever-free without the use of fever-reducing medications, and
  • Other symptoms of COVID-19 are improving.

If you've been fully vaccinated

If you've been fully vaccinated or have been previously diagnosed with COVID-19 within the last three months, you do not need to quarantine.

What if I'm not sure I've met the CDC's definition of close contact exposure?

If you're not sure what actions you should take based on your exposure, follow our decision matrix.

This chart shows you the actions you should take if you do or do not have COVID-19 symptoms.

How did TCC decide on this plan?

We are all still learning about the COVID-19 virus, but we now know that getting vaccinated is effective and helps prevent the spread of the virus.

We also know:

  • The virus can be shed and infect others, and has a lifespan of 7 days.
  • Patients may continue to have positive COVID-19 test results long after they cease being infectious to others.
  • Interacting with individuals who may have been exposed but are asymptomatic and undiagnosed (i.e. secondary contact) is not considered to be high-risk and therefore does not require quarantine.

As a result, TCC's quarantine and return-to-work guidelines are now based on time-elapsed since diagnosis.

Updated July 21, 2021