COVID Classroom Policies

sent on behalf of Dr. Mark Ginn, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education


Greetings Faculty and Staff,

We have received inquiries regarding COVID reporting protocols from faculty members and wanted to provide additional information to help faculty members when a student discloses a positive COVID-19 test result.

  1. General information about what to do in the event that a student (or employee) tested positive for COVID-19 is available on the reporting page of the university's coronavirus website. See "What happens when someone tests positive?"
  2.  If a student reports to a faculty member that the student tested positive, faculty members should report those positive cases here, as a care and concern report. (Note that a reporting "button" is located on all pages of the University's coronavirus website.)  Reporting these cases will initiate the contact tracing process. Learn more about how the contact tracing process works.
  3. If faculty are in a classroom with a student who tested positive for COVID-19, that does not necessarily mean that the faculty member was deemed to be in close contact or exposed to COVID. As a reminder, the CDC defines a close contact as someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period. If, for example, the student didn't attend class while infectious, or was not within 6 feet of you for 15 minutes or more, you will not be considered a close contact and will not be contacted. The contact tracing team will make this determination.  If contact tracing determined that the faculty member came into close contact with an infected person, contact tracing will contact the faculty member for follow-up.
  4. Staff with the University's COVID response teams will inform students that if they are not feeling well, to not attend class. However, faculty and staff are not authorized to prevent students from attending class and cannot make isolation or quarantine decisions for others. These decisions are made by a trained team following public health guidance under the authority of local public health.
  5. If a student shares with a faculty member that the student tested positive or is quarantined, as ordered by contact tracing, and cannot attend class, then it is permissible for faculty to:
  • Complete a care and concern report to ensure the university's COVID response teams are involved in the care and support of the student, which may include additional contact tracing efforts focusing on university interactions.
  • Work with that student on flexible learning arrangements.

However, it is impermissible for faculty to:

  • Ask students if the students have been vaccinated.
  • Attempt to verify the student's diagnosis with Health and Wellness programs, Emergency Management, the Dean of Students Office, or any other university office for verification.
  • To share the student's protected health information, unless written consent is provided by the student.

Thanks for all you do for our students.  Feel free to reach out if there are questions.


Mark Ginn, Ph.D.


Published: Aug 25, 2021 2:27pm