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UMMS Guidelines for Employee Return to Work

Surveillance testing for COVID-19 in the UMMS student and employee population

June 25, 2020

UMass Medical School has adopted numerous safety practices, including universal masking, social distancing and hand hygiene, to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our workplace.

An additional safety measure has been the initiation of ongoing COVID-19 PCR surveillance testing for members of the UMMS community who are currently cleared to return to work.

This testing will be conducted in partnership with the Broad Institute; those who are tested as part of this surveillance protocol access their test results directly through the Broad lab portal and are notified via email whenever new results are posted.

Positive results are reported to the UMMS infection control officer so that appropriate steps can be taken to protect the working and learning environment. It is anticipated that this system of surveillance testing will be in place at UMMS for up to one year.

The use of anonymized discard material from clinical testing is generally considered to be exempt from IRB review and consent and UMMS understands that viral sequences extracted from discard material in the process of surveillance testing may be used by the Broad to study and improve the diagnostic test; human genomic data will not be studied or retained.

Standards for Prevention of Workplace Transmission of SARS-CoV-2

Developed by the COVID-19 Workforce Safety Working Group*

Last modified date: June 22, 2020

The COVID-19 Workforce Safety Working Group provides these guidelines to assist faculty, staff and students (hereafter called “employees”) at the University of Massachusetts Medical School with a safe transition to the work environment.

The guidelines below are based on best practices in effect as of the date of this document, updated from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and other health authorities, and in collaboration with our Infectious Diseases Division, Employee Health Services (EHS) and Student Health Services (SHS). Questions about these guidelines should be directed to our UMMS Infection Control Officer at

Return to Work Guidelines for Employees and Students

Additional Return to Work Guidelines for Laboratory Personnel

Download COVID-19 signs and posters

Click here to view the COVID-19 training video outlining the steps UMass Medical School is taking to create a safe working and learning environment.