COVID-19 Resource Center for Health Care Providers

The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting every aspect of daily life for individuals, and communities around the world, but it is our health care providers who are especially impacted during this unprecedented time. Our caregivers are working long and stressful hours, treating patients, exposing themselves to the virus and physically separating themselves from their colleagues, families and sources of support.

We hope this guidance and list of resources is helpful to them as they continue to care for patients and themselves. We wish them, their families and their colleagues well during this most difficult time.

Please note: individuals may from time to time be responsible for following the policies and procedures of another organization in a professional services type of arrangement, as outlined in related agreements and contracts or medical staff bylaws or institution policies.


University Resources

Both medical schools are providing resources for their respective faculty and clinical staff from testing and PPE use to telemedicine updates.

Reference Sites



  • Any employee or student entering a Rutgers facility or location must use the My Campus Pass symptom checker before arrival. The My Campus Pass must be used for each arrival at least once each day. For more information, go to: Our Symptom Checker

  • Before you leave home, observe if you are experiencing symptoms. If any of the following COVID-19 symptoms are present, you should stay home.
    • Fever
    • Cough
    • Sore throat
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • Chest pressure or pain
    • Loss of smell or taste
  • Screening at Healthcare Facilities:
    • Temperature screening will be performed at selective entry points for several care facilities including: University Hospital, UBHC, UCHC, and RWJMS. (Conservative definition of fever is 100.0 often send for HCP and 100.4 often used for general population.)
    • HCP will wear procedure masks in clinical areas or N95 masks for high-risk procedures.
    • Each healthcare worker that is not working within a COVID-19 unit will be provided one procedure mask per day (as long as supply lasts).

Return-to-Work Guidance after travel, or exposure to confirmed or suspected COVID-19 case:

  • Travel to any U.S. state or territory beyond the immediate region (excluding New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Delaware); add international
    1. Asymptomatic HCWs: Clinical unit has flexibility to determine quarantine requirements for asymptomatic HCWs, based on workforce
      1. CDC revised quarantine options (12/2): for people without symptoms, quarantine may end after 10 days without testing, and after seven days after receiving a negative test result. If individuals choose to end quarantine according to this schedule, they should watch for symptoms until 14 days after
      2. HCW Exemption:
        1. Exceptions to the NJ DOH travel advisory: HCWs exempt as “critical infrastructure workers”
        2. All health care workers traveling to restricted areas should notify a department supervisor of their travel plans and monitor themselves for new COVID-19-related symptoms before returning to work. If no symptoms are present (asymptomatic), they may return to work as scheduled. Daily employee screenings (such as utilization of the My Campus Pass app) before reporting to work and adherence to preventive guidelines, such as mask wearing and distancing, and frequent hand hygiene are required.
  • High-Risk Exposure*
    1. Asymptomatic HCWs: Continue to work after exposure, subject to discussion by Occupational Health with the supervisor. Approved asymptomatic HCWs may continue working but are required to monitor symptoms for 14 days after the exposure. If any symptoms consistent with COVID-19 develop, the employee should stop work immediately, notify their supervisor, and contact their personal physician.
  • Positive COVID test
    1. Asymptomatic HCWs who have tested positive for COVID-19 may return to work after ten days have passed since the date the positive test was taken and if no symptoms are
      1. Upon return to work they must monitor for symptoms for 14 days after the positive test
      2. If symptoms consistent with COVID-19 develop, they should leave work immediately, notify their supervisor, and contact their personal healthcare provider.
    2. Symptomatic HCWs may return to work after:
      1. ten days have passed since symptoms began,
      2. and have significant symptomatic improvement
      3. and 24 hours have passed without a fever without the use of a fever- reducing

*High-Risk Exposure:

Prolonged close-contact to person with confirmed COVID-19:

  • 15 cumulative minutes of exposure at a distance of less than 6 feet to an infected person during a 24-hr period
  • AND Person with confirmed COVID-19 was wearing a face mask AND HCP was not wearing a respirator or face mask
    • OR Person with confirmed COVID-19 was not wearing a face mask AND HCP was not wearing a respirator or face mask
    • OR Person with confirmed COVID-19 was not wearing a face mask AND HCP was wearing a respirator or face mask AND was not wearing eye protection


Masking and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Guidance

  • All clinical providers and staff members who perform hospital and/or outpatient direct patient care or direct patient interactions in Rutgers clinical facilities should wear a procedure/surgical mask in clinical areas.
    • All staff members who have direct contact with patients in Rutgers clinical settings but are not working in designated COVID-19 areas, will be provided a single procedure face mask for daily use. Distribution will be controlled through managers and department heads. Distribution is subject to availability.
  • HCPs should don a N95 respirator, gown, gloves, eye/face protection when in high-risk transmission areas or performing procedures such as:
    • Performing testing on suspected COVID-19 patients (nasopharyngeal or oropharyngeal swabbing)
    • Intubation of suspected or known COVID-19 patients
    • Performing aerosolizing procedures (sputum induction, suctioning)
    • Caring for critically ill COVID-19 patients requiring ICU level care
    • Giving direct patient care in the ED
    • Caring for all COVID-19 positive and PUIs, when administering an aerosol-generated procedures such as: intubation/extubation, open suctioning, nebulizer treatments, bipap, Venti-mask, proning, chest PT, CPR, trach collar.
    • L&D nurses during second stage of labor
    • OR staff performing surgery on COVID-19/PUIs
  • Procedure masks should be given to:
    • All COVID+ and PUI patients when HCP is present in room
    • Patients exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms (respiratory symptoms, GI symptoms, or fever) until further assessed
    • Immunocompromised patients (e.g. transplant patients, oncology patients)
  • All others not covered in the guidance above (including all other patients, visitors, and staff) shall wear a face covering at all times while in Rutgers Health clinical facilities in the presence of others, in accordance with CDC recommendations for individuals to cover their mouth and nose while around other people in public settings. If not instructed to wear a procedure mask, visitors and patients may wear their own cloth face covering upon arrival to the facility.

Specific guidance for UBHC and UCHC:


  • All staff working inside the DOC and JJC facilities are issued procedure masks each day and are required to wear them.
  • Staff working on the medical infirmary units, isolation units, and quarantine units, as well as those who are conducting sick call with high risk patients, are wearing N95 respirators. Additionally staff that are screening DOC employees and civilian staff at the entry points of the prisons are wearing N95 respirator. All inmates are also given procedure masks to wear. 

UBHC: Screening and staff to wear procedure masks with each being given one mask per day (as long as supply lasts). Inpatient use in public spaces, do not have to use in patient’s room. 


  • A respirator (N95) is a respiratory protective device designed to achieve a very close facial fit and very efficient filtration of airborne particles. It also protects the clinician from debris generated during the procedure. Respirators require a medical evaluation before use because they can make breathing more difficult. PEOSH/OSHA requires an initial respirator fit test to identify the right model, style, and size respirator for each worker, as well as annual fit tests. Additionally, tight-fitting respirators, including the N95, require a user seal check each time one is put on. Facial hair at the sealing area of the respirator will cause it to leak, reducing its protection to the wearer
  • A surgical mask is used inside the operating room or within other sterile procedure areas to protect the patient environment from contamination. It also protects the clinician from contaminated fluid or debris generated during the procedure. Surgical masks have ties so that they can be adjusted for fit, and are tied over top of a surgical cap or a bouffant cap.
  • A procedure mask is used for performing patient procedures, or when patients are in isolation to protect them from potential contaminants. Procedure masks are used to protect both patients and staff from the transfer of respiratory secretions, fluids or other debris. Procedure masks are used for generally "respiratory etiquette" to prevent clinicians, patients and visitors from spreading germs by talking, coughing, or sneezing. Procedure masks have ear loops for quick donning, and since they do not slide on the hair, they can be worn without a surgical cap.
  • A face covering is used to protect people around you in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. Face coverings can be made from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost, other forms of masks (e.g. dust, procedure, surgical) will also be acceptable, but due to the limited supply, cloth face covering are recommended. For additional information please see CDC guidance on face coverings.

  PPE dressing and removal instructions from the CDC


Testing Information:

Learn about the Rutgers COVID-19 strategic testing program and view our testing data on our dashboard webpage.

Patient Testing Priorities: The CDC offers guidance on prioritizing testing for patients and health care professionals.

How to Test:

Testing sites:

  • NJ Community Testing Sites
  • Rutgers Testing Sites for Employees:
    • RBHS Newark (including NJMS, UBHC-Newark, Dental School, School of Nursing, CINJ Newark, SPH Newark)
      • Referred to Internal Medicine at University Hospital or personal healthcare provider
    • RBHS New Brunswick/Piscataway/Stratford (including UBHC, UCHC, School of Nursing, CINJ, SPH)
      • Nasal testing from Quest; Saliva testing RUCDR


Contact Tracing of Confirmed COVID-19 Cases

Widespread community transmission of COVID-19 has been reported in our region, rendering contact tracing impractical for implementation by health care facilities. Due to this reality, our Occupational/Employee Health (OH) and student health offices will focus resources on other important infection prevention, outbreak mitigation, and control activities, including follow up on health care workers and employee exposures, return to work clearance of COVID-19 positive employees, and other aspects of the COVID-19 response.

At this time, routine contact tracing will not be performed with the following exceptions:

  • Congregate Living Facilities (Department of Corrections, Dormitories)
  • The Occupational Health Office has the staffing and resources available to conduct Contact Tracing


Resources and Benefits

Mental Health Support and Services

  • Rutgers Employee Wellness Resources
  • Rutgers Student Wellness Resources
  • Rutgers University Human Resources Wellness Resources
  • Rutgers4U is a confidential support line to offer emotional and therapeutic support during and following the COVID-19 pandemic to Rutgers Staff, Faculty members and their families. The support line will be operational Monday through Friday from 8:00am - 4:00pm, with additional hours to added in May. Access the support line by calling 1-855-652-6819.
  • Employees enrolled in state health benefits have access to the digital wellness tool Joyable which is a mobile app designed to help manage stress, anxiety, and/or depression anytime, anywhere, from your mobile device or computer. Learn more and enroll by visiting
  • The School of Health Professions Department of Psychiatric Rehabilitation and Counseling Professions is offering webinars to help faculty, staff and students develop effective strategies for coping with the impact of COVID-19.
  • Psychological Services Network - Rutgers Graduate School for Applied and Professional Psychology is offering phone and telepsychology services to help members of our community obtain short term supportive therapy or facilitate referrals to therapists in our network.
  • "Healing Ourselves While Healing Others" a seven-part self-care webinar series offered live and on-demand by the Rutgers School of Nursing.
  • Rutgers NJMS Psychiatry has launched a telephone support service for NJMS-UH-UPA faculty & staff. To get support and guidance, email your name, telephone number, and the best time to call to 
  • NJ Mental Health Cares - State supported live help line for addressing COVID-19 stress: 866-202-HELP(4357),
  • The SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline, is a 24/7, 365-day-a-year, national hotline dedicated to providing immediate crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress. This toll-free, multilingual, and confidential crisis support service is available by calling 1-800-985-5990 or texting TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor. 
  • Zero to Thrive - Mental Health and Coping During a Pandemic for Parents, Perinatal Women, and Kids
  • Care for Your Coronavirus Anxiety
    "Resources for anxiety and your mental health in a global climate of uncertainty." This site has vetted and compiled a wealth of research-backed and helpful tools—articles, meditations, access to mental health experts, anxiety screenings, and more. See the "Take a Break" section for simple resources and skills to refocus and refresh.
  • Self-Compassion and COVID-19 by Drs. Chris Germer and Kristin Neff: "Self-compassion can help if the virus is causing you unnecessary anxiety, limiting your ability to work or travel, reducing your income, or if you or someone you know has already contracted the virus… Self-compassion boosts the immune system, it reduces anxiety, and it’s the easiest way to keep our hearts open to others. Some measure of fear is a healthy response to a contagious virus, of course. We want to respond to the contagion in a wise manner – with preventive measures that benefit ourselves and others." For self-compassion guided activities:
  • American Psychological Association
  • CDC Manage Anxiety and Stress
  • National Academy of Medicine
  • SAMHSA Tips – Taking Care of Your Behavioral Health
  • Resilience in Challenging Times

Free mobile apps for meditation

  • Insight Timer – Download for free for iPhone or Android. Thousands of free guided meditations by category, length, etc. Pay extra for courses, but not necessary.
  • Headspace (smartphone app for mindfulness, emotional health, physical health, and sleep exercises.) Offered free to all US healthcare professionals who work in public health settings through 2020. Redeem your subscription using your National Provider Identifier (NPI) and email address.



Household Support


Research Opportunities/Clinical Trials

  • COVID-19 positive patient clinical trial
  • Healthcare Workers Study Observational (PI: Rey Panneterri, CRC)
  • Remdesivir RCT clinical trials (PI: Ronald Nahass, RWJMS)
  • Hydroxychloroquine/Azithromycin RCT Clinical Trial (PI: Sabiha Hussain, RWJMS with CINJ)
  • Convalescent Plasma eIND (PI: Guo, RWJMS)
  • AKI in COVID19 patients (PI: Jared Radbel, RWJMS)
  • Observational Study: Clinical Features of COVID-19 Disease in Critically Ill Patients in the US: A Multicenter Study (PI: Jared Radbel, RWJMS)



HIPAA Guidance

During this unprecedented time, we appreciate your continued support in providing the best patient care while maintaining and respecting the privacy of our patients.

General Guidelines

  • Do not share protected health information (PHI) with others who shouldn’t have access, including co-workers or personal acquaintances. During this time of increased stress on the healthcare system and on us as individuals, it’s still important for us to avoid discussing patient cases except as part of the care plan.
  • Avoid accessing a patient’s medical record unless it is needed for your work on the care team or you have written permission from the patient. During a time when the spread of rumors and gossip about infection rates can increase anxiety and panic, it’s even more important for us to focus only on the information we need to provide immediate care and treatment.
  • Minimize the potential for unauthorized personnel to overhear patient information during conversations. All our teams are especially busy right now and the system is stressed. Please remember that our patients must still be treated with respect and that discussions about care and treatment should be managed appropriately.

Minimum Necessary: The "minimum necessary" standard still applies to ensure appropriate and limited distribution of PHI. Healthcare professionals must make reasonable efforts to ensure that any PHI disclosed is restricted to the minimum necessary information to achieve the purpose for which the information is being disclosed.

Social Media

Social media can be a powerful tool that offers health care providers new and efficient ways to share information, to debate health care policy and practice issues, to promote health behaviors, to engage with the public, and to educate and interact with patients, caregivers, students, and colleagues. When using social media platforms, we must balance the benefits of the medium against the importance of protecting patient privacy.

As a reminder, the HIPAA Privacy Rule prohibits the distribution of PHI on social media networks. That includes information about specific patients as well as images or videos that could result in a patient being identified. PHI can only be included in social media posts if a patient has given their consent, in writing, to allow their PHI to be used and then only for the purpose specifically mentioned in the consent form. Social media channels can be used for posting health tips, details of events, new medical research, bios of staff, and for marketing messages, provided no PHI is included in the posts.


We must exercise good judgment and caution when working remotely. In particular, records and discussions that include PHI should be handled in the same manner and with the same concern for privacy as they should have been within your office or clinical setting before the current healthcare crisis. Hard copy, sensitive records should be secured both in the alternate worksite and when being transported between that site and your office or clinic.

In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, many of our units are adopting telehealth as a means to interact with patients. Reasonable steps should be taken to ensure that those patient interactions and the information discussed are not disclosed to those who do not have a need to know.

Privacy Liaisons/ Contacts

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your unit’s privacy liaison or healthcare compliance officer:

Rutgers School of Dental Medicine

Privacy Liaison: Dr. Michael Conte

University Ethics and Compliance (UEC) Compliance Officer: Cindy Kennedy.

University Behavioral Health Care

Privacy Liaison: David Chin

University Ethics and Compliance (UEC) Compliance Officer: Anthony Caroleo

New Jersey Medical School

Privacy Liaison: Toni Allen

University Ethics and Compliance (UEC) Compliance Officer: Cindy Kennedy

Cancer Institute of New Jersey

Privacy Liaison: Jennifer West

University Ethics and Compliance (UEC) Compliance Officer: Anthony Caroleo

Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

Privacy Liaison: Julie Liston

University Ethics and Compliance (UEC) Compliance Officer: Anthony Caroleo

School of Health Professions

Privacy Liaison: Karen Shapiro

University Ethics and Compliance (UEC) Compliance Officer: Cindy Kennedy

School of Nursing

Privacy Liaison: Andrea Norberg

University Ethics and Compliance (UEC) Compliance Officer: Cindy Kennedy

Student Health-New Brunswick

Privacy Liaison: Claire Enners

University Ethics and Compliance (UEC) Compliance Officer: Catherine Florek

Student Health-Camden

Privacy Liaison: Nueza Serra

University Ethics and Compliance (UEC) Compliance Officer: Catherine Florek

Student Health-Newark

Privacy Liaison: Donald Deblock

University Ethics and Compliance (UEC) Compliance Officer: Catherine Florek

Division of Intercollegiate Athletics

Privacy Liaison: Matt Colagiovanni

University Ethics and Compliance (UEC) Compliance Officer: Catherine Florek

Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology (GSAPP)

Privacy Liaison: Andrea Quinn

University Ethics and Compliance (UEC) Compliance Officer: Catherine Florek

Emergency Services

Privacy Liaison: Carol Nowitzke

University Ethics and Compliance (UEC) Compliance Officer: Catherine Florek


HHS issued a bulletin stressing that we can’t set aside the privacy and security safeguards under HIPAA during an emergency. All covered entities must still comply with the law — sanctions are still in place. HHS provided a list of different exceptions on how you can share protected health information (PHI) -- stressing the minimum necessary requirement. HHS has released additional exceptions, addressed in the below frequently asked questions. Disclosure of protected health information (PHI): • must always be the minimum amount of PHI necessary for the purpose of disclosure • is permitted when given to other hospitals, providers, and regulators in order to help stem the spread of COVID-19 and • In order to provide treatment to a patient.
Has the U.S. Department of Health Services (HHS), Office of Civil Rights (OCR), the federal agency that regulates HIPAA compliance, waived any HIPAA requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Yes. The waiver, announced March 16, 2020, relaxes some HIPAA regulations about using and disclosing PHI to improve data sharing and patient care during this public health emergency. For example, certain sanctions and penalties from noncompliance with certain provisions of the HIPAA privacy regulations for hospitals that have disaster protocols in operation were waived. In addition, in February 2020, HHS OCR released a bulletin, “HIPAA Privacy and Novel Coronavirus” to ensure that HIPAA-covered entities and their business associates are aware of the ways that patient information may be shared under the HIPAA Privacy Rule in an outbreak of infectious disease or other emergency situation, and to serve as a reminder that the protections of the Privacy Rule are not set aside during an emergency. Sharing Patient Information At the direction of a public health authority, to a foreign government agency that is acting in collaboration with the public health authority. See 45 CFR 164.512(b) (1) (i) To persons at risk of contracting or spreading a disease or condition if other law, such as state law, authorizes the covered entity to notify such persons as necessary to prevent or control the spread of the disease or otherwise to carry out public health interventions or investigations. See 45 CFR 164.512(b) (1) (iv). Disclosures to Family, Friends, and Others Involved in an Individual’s Care and for Notification A covered entity may share PHI with a patient’s family members, relatives, friends, or other persons identified by the patient as involved in the patient’s care. A covered entity also may share information about a patient as necessary to identify, locate, and notify family members, guardians, or anyone else responsible for the patient’s care, of the patient’s location, general condition, or death. This may include, where necessary to notify family members and others, the police, the press, or the public at large. See 45 CFR 164.510(b).

What types of disclosures are we permitted under HIPAA to make to local, state, federal, and public health agencies?

Under HIPAA, Covered Entity health care providers may disclose PHI about individuals who are suspected of having contracted COVID-19 to public health authorities that are authorized by law to receive such information for preventing or controlling the spread of disease. “Public health authorities” include agencies or authorities of the United States government, a State, a territory, a political subdivision of a State or territory, or Indian tribe that is responsible for public health matters as part of its official mandate, as well as a person or entity acting under a grant of authority from, or under a contract with, a public health agency. Under HIPAA, health care providers may also, at the direction of a public health authority, disclose PHI to a foreign government agency. Some states have mandatory legal requirements to report infectious disease cases, such as COVID-19, to state or local public health authorities. Health care providers may report COVID-19 cases to federal, state and local public health authorities that are tasked with tracking COVID-19

May we share a patient’s COVID-19 diagnosis with the patient’s employer in order to allow the employer to take precautions against further infection?

HIPAA generally does not permit Covered Entities to disclose PHI to a patient’s employer without the patient’s written authorization. The potential presence of COVID-19 at a patient’s workplace does not in itself provide an exception for the health care provider to notify the patient’s employer. Covered Entities may communicate concerns about potential workplace spread to public health authorities, identifying the employer. Public health authorities may then work with the patient’s employer to react appropriately to limit the spread of the virus. As noted above, health care providers may in some states notify individual employees of potential exposure to a patient with COVID-19. To the extent that an employer conducts workplace surveillance of COVID-19 exposure (e.g., testing all or a portion of employees for disease status) as a result of federal, state or local workplace safety requirements, health care providers or labs working with the employer to conduct testing would be permitted under HIPAA to reveal test results directly to the employer who has requested the testing.

Can university employers require employees to self-report exposure to COVID-19 or positive test results?

Yes, an institution can ask employees to self-report if they may have had close contact with a COVID-19 case. CDC has deemed COVID-19 to be a pandemic, allowing an institution to require employees to self-report if they have a positive test result for COVID-19. An institution also may ask employees if they are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 due to the designation of the virus as a pandemic following recent Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guidance.

What is the correct course if an employee shows symptoms of COVID-19 infection (e.g., excessive coughing)?

An employer can send an employee home from work if it believes they are sick and have respiratory illness symptoms, such as coughing, fever, and shortness of breath. A pandemic declaration permits an institution more leeway to reasonably ask employees and students for more specific information, including COVID-19 symptoms, and send an individual home because of those symptoms. [See FAQ above]

What if a student or employee notifies the university that they have COVID-19 or were exposed to someone who has a confirmed case or confirmed exposure?

The CDC recommends that the institution contact the local health department and the CDC for guidance. The individual should remain off campus until they are certified as being disease free and no longer contagious. Also, the local health department will determine whether any other persons had close contact with the individual and notify them accordingly.

If we learn that an employee or student has tested positive for COVID-19, what information may we disclose?

If a University learns that its employee or student has tested positive for COVID-19, the information the University may disclose depends on the intended recipient of the disclosure. If the University is making the disclosure at the request of a federal, state or local government agency, the University may provide information responsive to such agency’s requests. If the University chooses to inform its employees or students about another employee, or student who has tested positive, it should only share the minimal amount of PHI necessary to enable individuals to assess their own personal health and potential exposure. The personal information that a University can provide may be different, for instance, Information, such as the location where the affected individual may have come into contact with other individuals, will likely be important, shareable information in most cases. A University should not share the individual’s name, and should seek to avoid sharing other personally identifiable information.

Does the COVID-19 coronavirus emergency supersede HIPAA privacy rules?

No, the government recently sent a stern reminder to all employers, especially those involved in providing healthcare, that they must still comply with the protections contained in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule during the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak. The Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a reminder after the WHO declared a global health emergency. In fact, the Rule includes provisions that are directly applicable to the current circumstances.




Want to help?

Rutgers has been fortunate to receive monetary and PPE donations to help our community of health care professionals. If you know someone who would like to donate money, medical supplies, or essential supplies please direct them to visit our donation information page to learn more.