GME COVID-19 Information

GME Office COVID-19 Information for Residents and Fellows

Updated August 31

When do I need to stay home?

If you have symptoms listed below you need to stay home and notify your program coordinator.  

  • Temperature greater than 99.9 degrees in the last 72 hours (fever/chills)
  • New cough
  • New sore throat
  • Recent or current shortness of breath
  • New headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Congestion/runny nose (allergy symptoms)
  • Widespread muscle pain/body aches
  • New onset gastrointestinal symptoms, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea

If you have been exposed but have no symptoms you can continue to work and follow masking and social distancing guidelines. 

If you have tested positive but are asymptomatic you need to stay home.  

How to get set up for testing:

Option 1: Creighton University is offering free, walk-in COVID-19 testing for residents and fellows at the Creighton COVID-19 Testing Center. This resource is made available thanks to the partnership with TestNebraska.

The Creighton Campus COVID-19 Testing Center is located on the east end of the Kiewit Fitness Center (entrance just south of the St. John’s fountain) and is open from 9 a.m.-noon, Monday-Friday. There are 200 tests available each day. Testing is on a first-come, first-served basis.

To register for a test, please complete this form prior to your arrival. Please register prior to your arrival to receive a personalized code via email. You will be asked to show your personalized code (printed or digital) when you arrive to the testing site so that testing staff can correctly sync your information with your specific test. Results will be sent directly to you based upon your registration.

Option 2: Call your PCP who can order a test for you.

Option 3: Call and make a virtual appointment:

  • Virtual Quick Care - CHI Health – you need a screen through a virtual appointment and then you will have a test ordered for you. CHI Health Virtual Quick Care is available Monday-Friday 7 a.m. - 7:30 p.m. and weekends 9 a.m. -5 p.m. via phone or video chat.

Option 4: If you are a VA resident and your exposure is a VA patient, they will order testing for you.

When can I return to work?

  • If you had a positive test and symptoms you can return to work 10 days from onset of symptoms AND you have been fever free for 72 hours without anti-pyretic medications.
  • The same guidelines apply if you have symptoms suggestive of COVID but did not get a test.
  •  If you have an alternative diagnosis other then COVID, you can return to work when you have been symptom free for 48 hours and fever free for 72 hours. 
  • If you have symptoms and a negative test, you can return to work when you have been fever free for 72hours without anti-pyretics AND your symptoms have improved.  If a clear alternative diagnosis has been made, follow guidelines for that diagnosis. 
  • If you have a positive COVID test and do not have symptoms to guide when you return to work you must stay home for a full 10 days. 

What kind of leave can I take?

Please contact your GME office for questions around types of leave available for specific circumstances. The university has expanded leave for residents and fellows who may need to be quarantined. Click here for frequently asked questions on leave during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

There are no further work from home options.

How to Protect Yourself and Your Patients

The CDC recommendations have changed and the recommendations are for increased PPE when there is community spread in the area. Omaha is seeing community spread increase over the last few weeks. I am giving you a brief summary below, but if you want full information can be found here.

  1. Goggles should be warn with all interactions with patients. Safety glasses/trauma glasses with gaps between the glasses and the face do not protect the eyes. If you haven’t picked up your personal pair you can come get a pair in the GME office.
  2. Health care workers should wear a face mask at all times while they are in the healthcare facility, including in break rooms or spaces where they will encounter co-workers (this includes team rooms).
  3. Surgical face masks should be utilized since cloth face covers do not offer both source control and protect against exposure.
  4. It is recommended that health care workers wear the same respirator or face mask throughout their entire workday, instead of intermittently switching back to their cloth face covering - this reduces the number of times physicians must touch their face and risk potential self-contamination.
  5. Respirators/face masks with an exhalation valve are not recommended for source control as they allow unfiltered exhaled breath to escape.
  6. Health care workers should remove their respirator or face mask, perform hand hygiene, and put on their cloth face covering when leaving the facility at the end of their shift.

If you get ill–what you need to do

If you get ill or are sent home for an elevated temperature please call your program coordinator immediately. You will be contacted by a the resident health nurse who will counsel you as to when you can return to work.

Some Learning Opportunities

Update on Travel

CHI has lifted the requirement for 14 day quarantine for those who travel. We will now change our GME personal travel policy to lift the 14 day restriction even if traveling to an area of community spread. Please realize this is a very fluid, rapidly changing situation and that I cannot predict that travel restrictions will not be in place when you return. Also, you should know that the CDC still recommends against travel. As we move into a stage of lifting restrictions where we are limiting exposures rather then eliminating exposures, please do as much as you can to reduce infectious spread of COVID such as masking, social distancing and limiting non-essential travel. Our commitment to do no harm applies in how we live our lives outside of medicine in this pandemic. The public looks to us to role model best practices in our behavior.

Also, note that the Creighton travel policy prohibiting business and educational related travel remains in place.

Work reporting

Residents are essential personnel and should report to work regardless of Creighton University announcements. If you have concerns, please contact your program for process.