Occupational Medicine Service (OMS) COVID FAQs
Note that guidance changes regularly and some situations are case-specific so please check with us if you have any questions. Our goal is to ensure the health and safety of employees and the work environment.
What do I do if I’m COVID positive?
You should start to isolate yourself immediately – stay at home and away from others in your household. You should notify your supervisor and Occupational Medicine Service (for those employees working at NJMS and other locations within RBHS-Newark). You will isolate yourself for five days (from start of symptoms or from positive test date (if asymptomatic) and you can return to work on day 6 if your symptoms are gone or mostly gone and you have been afebrile for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication. If your symptoms did not resolve by day 6, you will need to remain home longer. You should also upload documentation of your positive test results to the Rutgers portal: https://rtr.ipo.rutgers.edu/questionnaire. We monitor this portal and will contact you upon reviewing the positive test result.
I was exposed and would like to get tested. What type of test should I get and when?
You should get any test you can easily access, even a home test. You should test yourself at day 2 and days 5-7, if possible. You should closely monitor yourself for symptoms and adhere to the public health measures – wearing face covering, regular hand hygiene, and avoiding crowded settings.
I’m having trouble finding a testing location – where can I go?
If you are symptomatic and think you are positive for COVID-19, we’d recommend testing at home if you have a home test kit, via a drive-through, or outside testing location to minimize exposing others. You can find a listing of free testing by county at the New Jersey testing site:
Do I need to quarantine if exposed?
If you are boosted or recently vaccinated (within 6 months for Pfizer/Moderna or 2 months for J&J), you can continue to work and no quarantine is needed as long as you are asymptomatic. If you are not fully vaccinated/boosted, then you should quarantine for five days and can return to work on day six (if asymptomatic). Regardless of vaccine status, you are highly encouraged to test at day 2 and days 5-7 post-exposure. However, when you return to work, you must wear your face mask (one that is tightly fitting) or appropriate personal protective equipment for the situation (e.g., N95 in certain clinical situations, eye protection, etc.).
I’m having symptoms and think they are allergies – am I okay to go to work?
No, you should stay home and if possible, get tested for COVID-19. You should not go to work if symptomatic as COVID symptoms are very similar to allergies or cold symptoms.
I’m symptomatic and I received a negative “rapid test” (antigen) – am I okay going to work?
First, if you are symptomatic, you should not go to work. Second, if your antigen test is negative you may wish to get a PCR test or even repeat the antigen test the following day. Again, don’t go to work if you have symptoms.
NJMS Occupational Medicine Service