COVID-19 cases linked to members of Ciências: how to act

Case management and COVID-19 tests in Ciências ULisboa

Rapid and effective contact tracing (identification, risk assessment and implementation of measures) is a key element in the early detection of cases and limitation of the spread of COVID-19. Therefore, it is important that the information provided by the members of the Ciências ULisboa community to the Faculty's services, through the e-mail covid19@ciencias.ulisboa.pt, is adequate so that the procedures adopted, in articulation with the Public Health Unit (USP), are fast and effective. The Faculty's services directly monitor the evolution of the health situation of confirmed cases and high risk contacts from members of the community, so any changes associated with these cases should be communicated as soon as possible to the e-mail covid19@ciencias.ulisboa.pt.

 

Definition of confirmed case, suspect case, high-risk contact, low-risk contact and symptoms of COVID-19

Signs and symptoms associated with COVID-19: signs and symptoms of COVID-19 vary in severity from absence of symptoms (being asymptomatic) to fever (temperature ≥ 38.0ºC), cough, sore throat, muscle fatigue and severe acute respiratory syndrome. It was also verified anosmia (loss of sense of smell) and in some cases the loss of taste, as symptom of COVID-19.

In accordance with Standard 015/2020 of 24/07/2020 of the Directorate General of Health, and considering the type of activities of the Faculty:

Confirmed case: A person with confirmed positive laboratory test for infection by SARS-CoV-2, regardless of the signs and symptoms presented.

Suspect case: A person who develops acute respiratory symptoms with a cough or fever (temperature ≥ 38.0ºC) or dyspnea / difficulty breathing or a person who develops symptoms associated with COVID-19 and has been in contact with a confirmed case.

High-risk contact: A person who has been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 without a mask (including during meals), at a distance of less than 2 meters and simultaneously for 15 minutes or more.

Low-risk contact: A person who has been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 having both worn a mask, albeit indoors and even for more than 15 minutes.

 

Confirmed cases and high-risk contacts

For effective management of information by the Faculty, only confirmed cases and high-risk contacts with confirmed cases should send, as soon as possible, a message to covid19@ciencias.ulisboa.pt with the personal data and information indispensable for the tracking of contacts between faculty members:

  1. Full name, category, employee/student number, institutional e-mail, mobile phone number, National Health Service user number (or, in the case of foreign citizens, ID card number) and postal code of the current residence address;
  2. Last day you were at the Faculty;
  3. Name and contact details of persons (Ciências ULisboa members) with whom you have been without a mask (including during meals), at a distance of less than 2 metres and cumulatively for 15 minutes or more in the reporting period:
    3.1 If you have confirmation that you are infected with COVID-19, the reference period is 72 hours prior to the onset of symptoms or the date on which you performed the test in asymptomatic cases;
    3.2 If you have had high risk contact with a confirmed case, the reference period is the period between the date on which contact took place and the date on which you started isolation or the date on which you became aware of the positive test of the confirmed case.

High-risk contacts should contact the SNS24 line (808 24 24 24) and follow the received instructions. Home confinement or immediate prophylactic isolation is determined by health authorities.

The Faculty's services directly send USP the personal data that has been requested from members of the Faculty considered confirmed cases or high-risk contacts.

The whole community and in particular the students are alerted to the fact that all institutional contacts for the purposes foreseen in this document are made through their institutional Ciências ULisboa e-mail addresses, so they should pay special attention to the operability of these mail addresses, in particular by regularly consulting this e-mail and by avoiding that their e-mail boxes are full.

The information collected will be processed solely for the purpose of ensuring the follow-up of confirmed cases and high risk contacts, the information to USP and the processing and dissemination of anonymised statistical data. The data collected are confidential, accessible only to the members of the Security, Health and Sustainability Office and to the management bodies of the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon. The data is destroyed as soon as the incident is deemed closed.

 

Suspect cases and low-risk contacts: procedures to follow

Suspect cases should contact the SNS24 line (808 24 24 24) and follow the received instructions. They will only inform the Faculty, via e-mail covid19@ciencias.ulisboa.pt, if they need to regularise their attendance because they have been given prophylactic isolation.

Low-risk contacts, as well as suspect cases, must maintain passive surveillance for 14 days since the date of the last exposure:

  1. Monitor daily symptoms compatible with COVID-19;
  2. Measure and record body temperature twice a day;
  3. Implement strictly the prevention measures available here, including distance, hand hygiene, respiratory tag and the permanent use of a well placed mask, covering the nose and chin;
  4. Not to go to places with crowds of people, maintaining the face-to-face activity in Ciências ULisboa and ensuring compliance with the previous paragraph;
  5. If symptoms compatible with COVID-19 appear, contact SNS24;
  6. If prophylactic isolation is determined, please inform the Faculty's services by e-mail covid19@ciencias.ulisboa.pt.

Both suspect cases and low-risk contacts can self-propose for a diagnostic test for SARS-CoV-2 infection (see information below in ULisboa test programme).

For other types of contacts, which are indirect links between cases, there is no need to adopt additional measures to the general prevention measures available here.

 

Regularisation of attendance

For the purpose of regularisation of attendance, the decision of prophylactic isolation or confinement is always the responsibility of the health authorities who send the respective declaration to the worker/student who, in turn, will forward it to covid19@ciencias.ulisboa.pt.

The return to the face-to-face activity must take place on the working day following the last day of the period indicated in the declaration, no discharge document being required.

 

ULisboa test programme

The University of Lisbon, through its Rectory, has implemented a 2nd phase of diagnostic tests for infection by SARS-CoV-2, coordinated by the services of the Medical Centre of ULisboa.

Between 25 January and 12 February, calls for regular tests under ULisboa's general testing programme are suspended.

The testing capacity is maintained as part of the urgent testing programme, with the following changes:

  • Harvests held at the Medical Centre of the University City on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, between 9 am and 1 pm;
  • If necessary, the harvests can also be held at the Medical Centre of Ajuda on Tuesdays and Thursdays, between 9 am and 1 pm;
  • The tests performed are now Rapid Antigen Tests (TRAg) for diagnosis of infection by SARS CoV-2;
  • In case of positive results, a new harvest will be made to confirm the result through RT-PCR test;

Suspected cases or contacts with confirmed cases can still propose themselves for a diagnostic test for infection by SARS-CoV-2 by simply sending an e-mail to covid19@ciencias.ulisboa.pt stating the case and type of connection, as well as full name, category, employee/student number, institutional e-mail, mobile phone number and National Health Service user number. The test schedule is only possible after all these elements have been sent.

The costs of the proposed tests via e-mail covid19@ciencias.ulisboa.pt are paid by the Faculty.

 

Emergency number in Ciências ULisboa and isolation room

Any member of Ciências ULisboa, who is in the Faculty, in case of an emergency, or if they have symptoms of COVID-19, should contact the Ciências emergency number (internal extension 20000 or direct number 217 500 600). In this case, you will be directed by the emergency teams (or security team members) to the isolation area (room 8.1.02). Access to the isolation room must be made directly from outside the C8 building. When moving, the places with the greatest crowding of people/workers on the premises should be avoided.