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Faculty: What to expect if one of your students tests positive for COVID-19

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Kate Willink

News  •

As we prepare for fall quarter during a pandemic, we want to provide overall guidance on what faculty can expect should one of their students test positive or be presumed positive for COVID-19. 

Student Guidance

  • Students who test positive or are presumed positive for COVID-19 will be required to isolate.
  • Students who have had close contact with a confirmed case will be required to quarantine.
  • The results of the symptomatic and surveillance testing and the number of persons in isolation and quarantine will be reported on the COVID-19 dashboard, which will be updated daily.
  • During isolation or quarantine, students may be able to attend classes remotely, but others may not be capable of participating remotely should they have symptoms.

Contact Tracing & Classes

  • After a case of infection is confirmed and the individual is isolated, contact tracing begins.
  • Because classrooms are socially distanced, and instructors and students are required to wear face coverings, instructors and classmates are not automatically considered close contacts.  If everyone in a class has been wearing face coverings and staying physically distanced there will be minimal risk of COVID transmission. The COVID Response Team (CRT) will determine whether there is a reason to test others in the class, isolate anyone, or quarantine anyone.
  • Persons who have been in close contact with anyone testing positive for COVID-19 will be individually notified by a DU employee as a function of contact tracing. Those individuals will be advised to quarantine and monitor their symptoms and their access to campus will be restricted.

Contact Tracing & Faculty & Student Notification

  • Everyone in a F2F class where someone was present in person in the 10 days prior to a positive test result will be given a courtesy notification by the CRT.
  • The CRT will work with a student to notify faculty members regarding their return date and their need to participate remotely.
  • This notification will include specific dates that the student may not attend class in person. It is important to note that this notification does not necessarily mean a student has tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19.
  • Faculty members are expected to keep this information confidential and may not share this with the class.

Temporary Remote Teaching & Classroom Closure

  • Instructors and students will be notified as soon as possible if the room in which their class meets is closed and therefore they are required to move online for up to 25 hours during cleaning and disinfection.
  • Longer term online moves would only be authorized in consultation with academic leadership and the COVID response team. Otherwise continue in your scheduled modality as you receive notification that you have been cleared to return to your classroom
  • Faculty should plan for these situations in advance by having a back-up plan to move an individual class session online.

Students Return To Class

  • A notification will be sent to the student to indicate when the student is permitted to return to campus. A student is not allowed to return to class before the permitted date, and their ID will not be reactivated until the permitted date has occurred.
  • Instructors should support students in quarantine or isolation to continue making progress in the course as they are able, through either remote synchronous or asynchronous participation.

The campus COVID-19 leadership team will monitor ongoing COVID-19 related infections and transmissions at the campus, local, and state levels and adjust campus activities accordingly. Although there are no industry standards or regulations about conditions that trigger an evacuation of a building, a campus facility, or the campus as a whole, the university will continue to monitor the level of risk and take reasonable precautions as needed to protect students, faculty, and staff.