COVID-19 Update

Since March 2020, Pasco-Hernando State College has proactively instituted COVID-19 safety measures to protect the health of students, faculty, staff, and the community. As of January 2022, College protocols have been revised as conditions have changed. While most protocols remain in place, some have been updated to meet changing circumstances. PHSC’s goal is to safeguard the health and safety of the college community while sustaining, as much as possible, a normal collegiate and work experience.

COVID-19 Protocols: Updated August 2022 

The information below is current as of the date noted above. Circumstances regarding COVID-19 and variants of the virus are continuously changing. PHSC protocols and guidance may be adapted as conditions change and some administrative actions and decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis. Updates will be announced and posted on the COVID-19 page of the College website.

PHSC COVID Protocols - Guidelines

POSITIVE for Covid-19: Isolation and Precautions

If you have COVID-19, you can spread the virus to others. There are precautions you can take to prevent spreading it to others: isolation, masking, and avoiding contact with people who are at high risk of getting very sick. Isolation is used to separate people with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 from those without COVID-19.

When to Isolate

Regardless of vaccination status, you should isolate from others when you have COVID-19. You should also isolate if you are sick and suspect that you have COVID-19 but do not yet have test results. If your results are positive, follow the full isolation recommendations below. If your results are negative, you can end your isolation.

  • If You Test: Negative
    • You can end your isolation
  • If You Test: Positive
    • Follow the full isolation recommendations below

Isolation Recommendations

If you test positive for COVID-19, stay home for at least 5 days and isolate from others in your home. You are likely most infectious during these first 5 days.

  • Wear a high-quality mask if you must be around others at home or in public.
  • Do not go places where you are unable to wear a mask.
  • Do not travel.
  • Stay home and separate from others as much as possible.
  • Use a separate bathroom, if possible.
  • Take steps to improve ventilation at home, if possible.
  • Don’t share personal household items, like cups, towels, and utensils.
  • Monitor your symptoms. If you have an emergency warning sign (like trouble breathing), seek emergency medical care immediately.

When you have COVID-19, isolation is counted in days, as follows:

If you had no symptoms:

  • Day 0 is the day you were tested (not the day you received your positive test result)
  • Day 1 is the first full day following the day you were tested

If you develop symptoms within 10 days of when you were tested, the clock restarts at day 0 on the day of symptom onset

If you had symptoms:

  • Day 0 of isolation is the day of symptom onset, regardless of when you tested positive
  • Day 1 is the first full day after the day your symptoms started

Ending Isolation

End isolation based on how serious your COVID-19 symptoms were.

  • If you had no symptoms
    • You may end isolation after day 5.
  • If you had symptoms
    • You may end isolation after day 5 if:
      • You are fever-free for 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medication)
      • Your symptoms are improving

If you still have fever or your other symptoms have not improved, continue to isolate until they improve.

If you had moderate illness (if you experienced shortness of breath or had difficulty breathing), or severe illness (you were hospitalized) due to COVID-19, or you have a weakened immune system, you need to isolate through day 10.

If you had severe illness or have a weakened immune system, consult your doctor before ending isolation. Ending isolation without a viral test may not be an option for you.

If you are unsure if your symptoms are moderate or severe or if you have a weakened immune system, talk to a healthcare provider for further guidance.

Regardless of when you end isolation, avoid being around people who are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19 until at least day 11. Remember to wear a high-quality mask when indoors around others at home and in public and not go places where you are unable to wear a mask until you are able to discontinue masking, including public transportation and travel settings.

Loss of taste and smell may persist for weeks or months after recovery and need not delay the end of isolation

Removing Your Mask

After you have ended isolation, when you are feeling better (no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and symptoms improving),

  • Wear your mask through day 10.

OR

  • If you have access to antigen tests, you should consider using them. With two sequential negative tests 48 hours apart, you may remove your mask sooner than day 10.

Note: If your antigen test results are positive, you may still be infectious. You should continue wearing a mask and wait at least 48 hours before taking another test. Continue taking antigen tests at least 48 hours apart until you have two sequential negative results. This may mean you need to continue wearing a mask and testing beyond day 10.

After you have ended isolation, if your COVID-19 symptoms recur or worsen, restart your isolation at day 0. Talk to a healthcare provider if you have questions about your symptoms or when to end isolation.

EXPOSURE to Covid-19:

If you were exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19 or have been told by a healthcare provider or public health authority that you were exposed, here are the steps that you should take, regardless of your vaccination status or if you have had a previous infection. 

After Being Exposed to COVID-19:

  • Start Precautions - Immediately
    • Wear a mask as soon as you find out you were exposed.
  • Start counting from Day 1
    • Day 0 is the day of your last exposure to someone with COVID-19.
    • Day 1 is the first full day after your last exposure.

Continuing Precautions

  • 10 Full Days
  • You can still develop COVID-19 up to 10 days after you have been exposed.
  • Take Precautions

More about how to protect yourself and others

Watch for symptoms

If you develop symptoms

Get Tested:  Day 6

  • Get tested at least 5 full days after your last exposure.
  • Test even if you don’t develop symptoms.

If You Test: Negative

Continue taking precautions through day 10

  • Wear a high-quality mask when around others at home and indoors in public.

If You Test: Positive

You can still develop COVID-19 up to 10 days after you have been exposed.

When in doubt, students should contact their instructor and faculty and staff should contact their supervisor and/or Dean.

PHSC COVID Return to School/Work - Guidelines

Test Positive for COVID-19  (Isolate - Regardless of vaccination status)

  • Stay home for 5 days.
  • You are fever-free for 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medication)
  • If you have no symptoms or your symptoms are resolving after 5 days, you can return to work.
  • Continue to wear a mask around others for 5 additional days.
    • With two sequential negative tests 48 hours apart, you may remove your mask sooner than day 10.
  • Clearance from a medical professional for returning to work/school.
    • Medical clearance can be either – a release from a doctor or an up-to-date negative Covid -19 test. As a retest, an Antigen test is preferred over a Viral test.

If you have a fever, continue to stay home until your fever resolves.

If you had severe illness or have a weakened immune system, consult your doctor before ending isolation.

Exposure to Someone with COVID-19

(Regardless of vaccination status or if you have had a previous infection)

  • Wear a mask as soon as you find out you were exposed.
  • Take Precautions
    • Wear a mask any time you are around others for 10 days.
    • Do not go places where you are unable to wear a mask.
    • Take extra precautions if you will be around immunocompromised individuals.
    • Watch for symptoms

If your test result is positive, follow the isolation recommendations for a positive case.

When in doubt, students should contact their instructor and faculty and staff should contact their supervisor and/or Dean.

PHSC COVID-19 Positive Cases in Academic Year 2022-2023

The following report includes a weekly COVID positive cases report and cumulative COVID positive cases beginning August 1, 2022.

Week of September 5, 2022:

Staff 2
Students 7

 

COVID Positive Cases for the Weeks beginning August 1, 2022

 
Week of Staff Student
Sept. 19 tbd tbd
Sept. 12 tbd tbd
Sept. 5 2 7
Aug. 29 4 3
Aug. 22 3 9
Aug. 15 3 2
Aug. 8 3 1 - *no classes
Aug. 1 2 0 - *no classes

 

Cumulative COVID Positive Cases, beginning August 1, 2022

Staff Cumulative 17
Student Cumulative 22

 

 

 

Protecting Yourself

While it’s unclear exactly how the coronavirus is transmitted, COVID-19 is thought to spread through person-to-person contact and respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Symptoms range from mild to serious and include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Here are some tips from the CDC to reduce your chances of becoming ill:

Wash your hands frequently to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including the Coronavirus. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

If you are experiencing a fever, cough, and/or difficulty breathing, contact a healthcare professional to determine whether testing or treatment is needed.

  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue away.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces.

COVID Information

For reliable, up-to-date, local, regional, statewide and national information on COVID-19, go to the Links On this Page for the following websites:

  • Florida Department of Health
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention