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SLU COVID-19 Safeguards: Frequently Asked Questions

Saint Louis University is implementing public health safeguards to minimize further spread of COVID-19 and help protect our students, colleagues, friends and neighbors. The answers to the frequently asked questions below about COVID-19 safeguards at SLU are based on the best information available to us at this time and may change. 

Topics Covered in This FAQ Section

For FAQ about SLU's COVID-19 vaccination requirement, visit slu.edu/back-to-slu/vaccine.php

Campus Status

Does SLU require the COVID-19 vaccine? 

SLU requires all students, faculty, staff and contract workers who are living, studying, teaching, researching, missioning or working on our St. Louis campuses to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Religious and medical exemptions to our vaccination requirement may be granted on a case-by-case basis. Vaccinations also are required of SLU St. Louis students who will be studying outside the U.S., including on our Madrid campus.

Development of Safety Measures and Safeguards

What kinds of safety measures are in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19?

In addition to the vaccine requirement:

  • Increased frequency of cleaning with EPA-approved, hospital-grade disinfectant in spaces across campus, including all common areas, community bathrooms, elevators and other high-touch points in residence halls
  • Touchless, wall-mounted hand-sanitizer stations throughout campus, including the entrances of all residence halls
  • Small bottles of hand sanitizer and EPA-approved disinfectant distributed to departments upon request
  • Foot-operated door openers in high-traffic restrooms 
  • Fresh air intake increased in buildings where possible
  • Educational signage promoting best practices
What factors and data do SLU leaders use to inform the decision to allow face-to-face vs online instruction?

Making an informed decision during a pandemic when details change daily is highly nuanced, and relies on multiple factors and guidance from public health and infectious disease experts. 

University leaders and our public health experts consult daily to discuss changing data within our campus and the greater St. Louis community and use all of this to inform any modifications to our COVID-19 planning. Our discussions are driven by our Jesuit and University values, sound science, public health data and a deep intent to keep our community as safe as possible.

The factors that would lead us to pivot to all-online instruction, as we did in spring 2020, are also nuanced. For example, if the city or state – after assessing hospitalization, infection and demographic data – announced restrictions on class sizes or room capacities, that could make our current COVID-prevention plan impractical. 

Campus-specific data are evaluated regularly and help inform our decision about pivoting to online education. Some examples include the number of COVID-19 positive students on campus, test positivity rate, ability to safely house confirmed and suspected COVID-19 students as well as those who need to be quarantined, and the level of student compliance with our protective measures.

What measures is SLU taking to detect a potential outbreak of COVID-19?

With the professionals in Student Health and Employee Health, our Contact Tracing Team assesses numerous factors that, when taken together, could be indications of potential outbreaks — and then we act swiftly to contain and tamp down community spread.

An increase in the number of COVID-positive symptomatic students and employees is one of those factors. And it’s why we encourage our students and employees to monitor their health every day and report COVID-like symptoms to Student Health and Employee Health, respectively.

In the 20-21 academic year, we conducted cluster testing among specific residence hall floors, social groups and athletic teams which helped prevent additional disease transmission. We also briefly restricted access to residence halls just to their specific residents. Those interventions proved effective in tamping down disease  spread.


COVID-19 Symptom Monitoring and Testing 

Does the University require students, faculty and staff to conduct daily symptom checking? 

Although we are no longer using a symptom check smartphone app, community members who are living, studying or working on our St. Louis campuses are expected to be alert for symptoms similar to those of a cold, no matter how minor they appear. 

Even just one of those symptoms may indicate a possible COVID infection:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

The CDC offers an online symptom check here.

Please don’t explain away your symptoms as allergies or a cold or a migraine. You may be putting friends, classmates, and co-workers at risk.

You must report any and all COVID-like symptoms to Student Health (314-977-2323), Employee Health (314-257-8400), or your primary care provider so that you may be screened by a health professional who will determine if you need to be tested before coming to campus or class. 

Is SLU requiring students or employees to be tested for COVID-19? 

All students and employees who are identified as having close contact with an infected person are required to be tested. 

The Contact Tracing team will notify individuals deemed to be close contacts and provide details about quarantine, testing requirements and follow up.  

Some groups of unvaccinated students and employees may require periodic or regular asymptomatic testing due to changes in local and regional regulations, or clinical/field site requirements. 

Asymptomatic students living on campus who were not vaccinated or not fully vaccinated were required to be tested  during move-in at the start of the fall ‘21 semester. 

Residential students with University-approved exemptions also were tested before move-in. SLU offered optional testing for students living off campus who haven’t been vaccinated and were seeking peace of mind. 

We did not conduct asymptomatic testing of students who were fully vaccinated at move-in. 

Who requires testing after an exposure?

Anyone considered to have been exposed to a COVID-positive person (spending 15  or more cumulative minutes over 24 hours within 6 feet of a COVID-positive person) is required to be tested — regardless of whether you were wearing a face mask or not, and regardless of your vaccination status. 

You do not need to arrange for or ask for testing. The Contact Tracing Team will direct you as to how and where to be tested. Testing is provided on campus free of charge. 

Does the University have an on-campus testing facility? 

Both Employee Health and Student Health offer testing by appointment for SLU community members who have COVID-like symptoms. Individuals can and should call ahead to discuss their needs. Please note that Employee Health and the Student Health Center may refer you to another testing site, if it’s deemed appropriate.

The Office of Employee Health can be reached by telephone Monday through Friday at 314-257-8400 from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. You can also contact Employee Health any time via email at employeehealth@slu.edu.

The Student Health Center  can be reached at 314-977-2323 or  shc@slu.edu.

We also have a testing clinic on campus for those who require periodic or regular asymptomatic testing, and testing of close contacts. You will be notified if you need to use this testing service and given instructions about location, day, and time of the testing.

What happens if I miss my COVID testing appointment?

If you don’t have COVID-like symptoms and have been directed to be tested at Student Health, Simon Recreation Center, or Employee Health, please be tested during the timeframe identified for you. 

If you develop symptoms before the date of your scheduled test, please contact Student Health (314-977-2323), Employee Health (314-257-8400) right away. 

If you need to reschedule your test, please contact pandemic@slu.edu at least an hour before your scheduled test time. 

If you miss your original test time and your make-up test time, you will be charged $200. 

Can an employee’s family members be tested through Employee Health?

Employee family members who are covered under the University’s health care plan, and who receive a referral for testing from their health care provider, can go to any University health care approved testing facility and be tested at no cost to the employee.

How much does COVID-19 testing cost for a student or employee?

Employees who are symptomatic or have been referred for testing can be tested by Employee Health at no cost to them. 

Students who have symptoms or have been referred for testing can get tested at the Student Health Center. There is no charge for these tests. 

Similarly, if an employee who is covered on the University’s health care plan is symptomatic and has obtained a referral from their health care provider, the cost of the test is fully covered by the University’s health care plan. 

University community members who are identified as a close contact by our Contact Tracing Team and require testing can be tested at our on-campus testing facility. There is no charge for this test.

Employees and students who require periodic or regular asymptomatic testing due to campus protocols, local, state, or federal regulations, community or clinical placement requirements or due to their individual vaccination status can be tested at our on-campus testing facility. There is no charge for this test. 

 

Positive Cases of COVID-19 in the SLU Community

What happens if I test positive for COVID-19?

If you test positive, regardless of your vaccination status, you will need to be isolated to prevent disease transmission to others. 

If a student tests positive for COVID-19, will they be isolated on campus? Where and for how long? Will their roommate(s) also have to quarantine?

If a student tests positive for COVID-19 or is exposed to someone who has COVID-19, they must consult with the Student Health Center, the Contact Tracing team, and/or the Health Department to discuss their living arrangements to ensure they can isolate appropriately. 

As a reminder: Isolation is what happens when someone has symptoms of or tests positive for COVID-19. Quarantine is what unvaccinated individuals must do if they have an unmasked exposure to a close contact who has tested positive for COVID-19.

On-campus isolation and quarantine housing is available for students who live on campus. Going home also is an option, for those students who are able to do so.

While a student is isolating (or is in quarantine) whether on- or off-campus, our Student Health Center team will coordinate their health care, checking on them regularly. 

Our IQ Housing Team will tend to other student needs, including snacks and daily meals. They also will receive outreach from other support offices as needed. The student is expected to stay in isolation (or quarantine) housing until the Student Health Center clears them to leave and return to their residence hall living space.

Unvaccinated roommates or suitemates of a student who tests positive for COVID-19 may be required to quarantine. 

The contact tracing process will determine whether that is the case. If so, those residential students will have on-campus options for quarantine, unless they would rather do so at home.

Students who are in isolation or in quarantine are not allowed to attend in-person classes until they are cleared to do so by the Student Health Center. Doing so, or visiting with friends, puts your classmates and friends at risk of getting COVID. 

Such ill-considered actions will be brought to the attention of Student Conduct and could lead to expulsion.

What is the difference between isolation and quarantine?
Isolation is for those who test positive for COVID-19. Quarantine is for unvaccinated individuals who have had unmasked close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
How long must I isolate?

If you have tested positive for COVID-19, you must be isolated — alone and away from others — for a minimum of 10 days. 

You can isolate at home or off campus. If you are a residential student, you can isolate in our Isolation and Quarantine Housing facility.

If you choose to stay in our IQ Housing facility, our IQ Housing Team will contact you by phone or text to schedule your move from your on-campus residence. They also will provide you with a list of items you may want to bring along, because you will not be able to return to your housing unit until your isolation period is over. 

Who gets placed into quarantine?

Close contacts who are vaccinated do not need to quarantine, even if both individuals were unmasked during the exposure. They do, however, require testing. A negative test ensures that they do not have to go into isolation in on-campus isolation housing, or in off-campus housing or at home. 

Close contacts who are not yet fully vaccinated or have a University-approved exemption — and who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days at the time of exposure — will not be quarantined. Testing is required. 

Close contacts who are not yet fully vaccinated or have a University-approved exemption — and who were wearing their face masks at the time of exposure — will not be quarantined. Testing is required. 

Close contacts who are not yet fully vaccinated or have a University-approved exemption — and who were not wearing face masks at the time of exposure — must be quarantined. Testing is required at days five - seven days after exposure and again at day 14. 

How long must I quarantine?

If the Contact Tracing Team has identified you as an unvaccinated close contact who had an unmasked exposure, you must be quarantined. 

The St Louis City Health Department is allowing us to follow the CDC’s guidelines for shortening quarantine, as long as we monitor the safety of this practice. Individuals in quarantine will be tested in the 5- to seven-day period after exposure. If their result is negative, their quarantine will end at the time of proof of that negative test. However, those persons must return for a second test at day 14 after exposure. We’re conducting this additional test in cooperation with the City Health Department to monitor the safety of shortening our quarantine period.  

Students can quarantine off campus or at home. Residential students also can quarantine in our Isolation and Quarantine Housing facility.

If you choose to stay in our IQ Housing facility, our IQ Housing Team will contact you by phone or text to schedule your move from your on-campus residence. They also will provide you with a list of items you will want to bring along, because you will not be able to return to your housing unit until your quarantine period is over. 

If I am in quarantine or isolation, what do I tell my instructors, supervisor or chair?

All you need to say is that you have a University-approved absence. You do not have to say you are in isolation, or that you have COVID. 

If you are a student in isolation, it’s important that you keep up with your course materials/content. Talk to your instructor(s) about your assignments and deadlines and keep up with your work. Seek out classmates for more information.

If you are a faculty member, work with your Chair and Dean to find a substitute. 

If you are a staff member, inform your supervisor of the work assignments that will have to be put on hold or passed on to others. 

HR has set aside up to 80 hours per full-time faculty and staff member, including hourly and salaried employees,  for University-approved absences due to COVID.

Should I self-isolate or self-quarantine if I've been exposed to COVID-19 or are experiencing COVID-19-like symptoms?

“Self-quarantine” and “self-isolation” are not part of our protocol at SLU. Even if you think what you are experiencing is  “just allergies,” “just the winter sniffles,” or “just another migraine,”  you must report those symptoms and any possible exposure to someone with COVID-19 immediately to Student Health or Employee Health (for staff, faculty and clinical students).

What support will be available for students who test positive for COVID-19 who live off campus?

Student Health Center services are available to all SLU students, whether or not they live on campus. Students who inform Student Health they have tested positive for COVID-19 can access:

  • Video visits
  • RN check-ins
  • In-person clinic visits (after a preliminary phone or virtual assessment)
  • Links to virtual resources from various areas of campus (University Counseling Center, Campus Ministry, wellness services)

Students known to be in isolation or quarantine will be able to opt in to wellness check-ins conducted by SLU's University Counseling Center. 

What happens if someone in my class or social groups tests positive?

Please be patient while our Contact Tracing Team conducts their investigation.

If you are determined to be a close contact, you should be notified within a short time frame by the Contact Tracing Team. They will provide you with instructions for quarantine, testing and follow up. 

In order to be a classroom close contact, you need to have been sitting/working within 6 feet of an infected person for 15 minutes or more. In most situations, it’s unlikely that an entire class would be considered close contacts. However, inadequately detailed seating charts may lead the Contact Tracing Team to recommend that all persons in the classroom be tested. 

If you do not hear from the Contact Tracing Team, that means that they have concluded that you were not exposed to COVID-19. 

However, if you believe that you spent 15 minutes or more within 6 feet of a person you know to be COVID-positive, please email pandemic@slu.edu. We will connect you to our Contact Tracing Team.

Should our Contract Tracing Team notify you that you may have been exposed, the identity of the infected person will not be revealed.

This is not only a legal mandate, but it’s particularly important for University employees and students because people will only cooperate in contact tracing if they trust that their privacy will be protected.

If a student notifies an instructor that they have tested positive for COVID-19, should that instructor notify other students in the class?

No. The instructor should not notify others of a student’s positive test result.  All possible measures should be taken to protect the privacy of any person who tests positive for COVID-19. 

Contact tracing will be performed and notifications will be made to any person who is considered a close contact so that appropriate follow up and testing can be initiated.

Will I be told if a student in my class, my classmate, or my instructor tests positive for COVID-19?

Not necessarily. You will only be notified if you are a close contact of the infected individual. 

If a member of the Contact Tracing Team informs you that you are a close contact of an infected person, they will not provide the name of that individual to you. Faculty members may be asked to provide a seating chart or its equivalent if an infected student reported attending class while they were contagious. 

The Contact Tracing Team will not tell the instructor the infected student’s name when their classroom seating chart is  requested. However, students may share as much or as little information with their instructor as they would like about their health status. 

When our Contract Tracing Team notifies someone that they may have been exposed, they will not reveal the identity of the infected person. 

This is not only a legal mandate, but it’s particularly important for University employees and students because people will only cooperate in contact tracing if they trust that their privacy will be protected.

If a student in one class tests positive, does everyone in that class require testing? And should the class suspend meeting in-person until everyone has been tested?

Certain types of instructional spaces or activities may involve close contact between students and others may not. So, there is no single answer. 

The contact tracing investigation will identify any individuals who will need to be tested or quarantined, and they will be notified directly. 

Given that our campus consists of a fully vaccinated population and vaccinated individuals do not require quarantine, there is no reason an instructor would need to suspend meeting in-person while awaiting testing if a student in that class tests positive. 

However, if the instructor is infected with COVID-19 or requires quarantine, the class may require switching temporarily to virtual learning.  

If testing is required for students after a classmate tests positive, how do instructors verify that the necessary testing has taken place? Are instructors allowed by law to require — or even request — such verification?

All close contacts are required to be tested regardless of their vaccination status.

Our COVID Prevention Services Team will schedule testing for all those identified as close contacts in a particular class. They may be students, GAs, TAs, even the instructor. It may take up to 3 days for testing results to be obtained. During that time, the class should be able to meet, assuming the faculty member or instructor is not COVID-positive case. 

The following types of close contacts do not need to quarantine and should be able to continue to attend class while they await their test results:

  • Close contacts who are vaccinated do not need to quarantine, even if both individuals were unmasked during the exposure. 
  • Close contacts who are not yet fully vaccinated or have a University-approved exemption — and who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days at the time of exposure.
  • Close contacts who are not yet fully vaccinated or have a University-approved exemption — and who were wearing their face masks at the time of exposure.
  • However, close contacts who are not yet fully vaccinated or have a University-approved exemption — and who were not wearing face masks at the time of exposure — must be quarantined. And they would miss classes for up to 14 days. 

If close contacts fail to show for testing, a make-up appointment will be scheduled. If both appointments are missed, disciplinary actions will commence.

 

Contact Tracing

Is the University conducting any contact tracing?

Yes. SLU’s Contact Tracing Team has proven to be one of the most critical safeguards for preventing disease spread on our campus. In the 20-21 academic year, ~ three in 10 quarantined students became symptomatic — and contagious — positives and were moved to isolation housing. They did not have a chance to transmit disease to other members of our University community. 

Our Contact Tracing Team is an arm of the Office of the President and agents for the St. Louis City Health Department. The team includes public health and medical school faculty, students and accredited staff. 

How will positive test results be communicated during contract tracing? How will we ensure that an individual’s personal information isn’t compromised in that process?

An individual’s infection status is considered protected health information under HIPAA law. Through contact tracing, we can let people know that they have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 without identifying the infected individual. 

What is a close contact?

As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, so may the definition of a close contact. A close contact is defined as any person who spent a cumulative total of ≥15 minutes in one 24-hour period within 6 feet of a confirmed case of COVID-19 while that person was contagious, regardless of whether a mask was worn and regardless of vaccination status. 

What is the contact tracing protocol and timeline?

The contact tracing process begins when the Contact Tracing Team is notified that an individual has tested positive. That prompts a “case investigation” to identify all close contacts. All case investigations occur within 24 hours of notification to the Contact Tracing Team.

The Contact Tracing Team will start by interviewing the COVID-positive person to identify their close contacts. The contact tracers also will ask which individuals were and were not wearing masks during the exposure. 

If an infected student attended class(es) while contagious, the Contact Tracing Team will identify classroom or lab close contacts. 

Classroom close contacts consist of all students or instructors who spent more than 15 minutes within 6 feet of the infected student during their class/lab.

In some situations, the infected student may not know or recall the names of students by whom they sat or worked during a class they attended while contagious. That absence of information will require the Contact Tracing Team to request a seating chart or its equivalent from the instructor. Instructors are expected to provide a seating chart or its equivalent to the Contact Tracing Team within 12 hours of the request, even if they are contacted over a weekend. 

In general, the contact tracing process is conducted in less than one day. However, some factors can increase the amount of time needed to interview and notify all close contacts. These factors include: Needing to identify close contacts through a seating chart that isn’t readily available or is incomplete; having to contact a large number of close contacts; or, at the outset, being unable to reach an infected individual.  

What do I do when Contact Tracing calls or emails me?

Please reply to our Contact Tracing Team right away. Their critical work to prevent COVID spread on our St. Louis campuses requires your urgent assistance. 

The Contact Tracing Team will determine if you may have been exposed to COVID-19 based upon what they have learned from their interview of the COVID positive person and other evidence they have obtained, such as seating charts and social media posts. Their interview with you and others will confirm or refute that suspicion.

Our Contact Tracing Team members are acting as agents of the City Health Department. 

Students who ignore inquiries by or fail to cooperate with our Contact Tracing Team will be reported to the Office of Student Conduct.

Faculty and staff who do not cooperate with our Contact Tracing Team will be reported to their Academic Dean or Division VP. 

What if Contact Tracing doesn’t call or email me, but I know I was in the same room as the COVID-positive person?  

It means that based upon the information they have gathered, the Contact Tracing Team has concluded that you were not exposed to COVID-19. 

However, if you believe that you spent 15 minutes or more within 6 feet of a person you know to be COVID-positive, please email pandemic@slu.edu. We will connect you to our Contact Tracing Team.


Face Masks

Does SLU have a policy on face masks? 

 Face masks are currently required on campus. To learn more, view the Interim Public Health Policy In Response To Covid-19 For Fall 2021.

Is SLU relaxing its mask requirements for people who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19?

Face masks are currently required to be worn inside all buildings on our St. Louis campuses. This applies to everyone, regardless of whether they have been vaccinated. This action complies with new guidance from local health officials who are mandating face mask use in all public places, on public transportation and in crowded outdoor spaces.

COVID-19 Update: SLU Reinstates Mask Mandate (July 23)

How do I request an accommodation/exemption?  

Consistent with other types of ADA accommodations, students may apply for an academic accommodation through the Center for Accessibility and Disability Resources. Because SLU's face mask requirements apply to residential buildings, you also may need to apply for a housing accommodation (if applicable). 

Faculty and staff should contact their Human Resources consultant. For more information, see SLU’s ADA policy. You will be required to provide documentation from a licensed diagnostician.

It’s possible that persons who are not fully vaccinated or have obtained a vaccine exemption may obtain a face mask accommodation. However, that accommodation still may require the adoption of other public health safeguards, such as social distancing, regular COVID testing and exclusion from certain clinical settings.

How does the mask accommodation process work for students?

Once your application is received, the Center for Accessibility and Disability Resources will initiate an “interactive process,” required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), to determine whether an exemption is warranted. You will be required to provide documentation from a licensed diagnostician to support your request. 

Once an exemption has been granted, that interactive process continues as you explore, together with your instructors and other members of the SLU community, what might or might not be able to be done in response to your disability accommodation. It is important to know that Disability Services will not disclose the underlying condition that merits your need for accommodations, only that an exemption from the policy has been approved.

Consistent with the expectations of the ADA, there is no “one size fits all” approach; each student situation will be different, which means accommodations are customized to the individual and to the various contexts in which their exemption may require accommodations. This process is the same, regardless of the type of accommodation being sought.

What constitutes a “reasonable accommodation” with a mask exemption in the classroom?  

Because an exemption from the campus mask mandate has an impact on the health and safety of others, it is important that instructors and students work together with the Center for Accessibility and Disability Resources to explore possible reasonable accommodations. Ultimately, what constitutes a reasonable accommodation will depend on a variety of factors, including (but not limited to) the type of course, the kinds of learning activities occurring in the course, and the health and safety considerations of others in the class.

Examples of potential accommodations for a mask exemption that may be implemented singularly or in tandem with another accommodation include, but are not limited to: 

  • Participating in the course online instead of in-person
  • Wearing a face shield
  • Providing surgical-grade masks to others in the classroom with that student to ensure enhanced protection for all
  • Increasing the distance (more than 6 feet) between the students in the class
  • Permitting the student to step outside to remove the mask for short breaks during class time.

Other options may also constitute reasonable accommodations, such as: adjusting the student’s class schedule in a manner that will eliminate the need for a mask-related accommodation; assisting the student in registering for the same course offered online by another university and then accepting the course in transfer upon successful completion; or enrolling the student in an independent study version of the course that might not present the need for a mask-related accommodation.  

Who has input into what “reasonable accommodations” are for a course?

You do, in collaboration with the Center for Accessibility and Disability Resources and the student with the exemption. This is an interactive process.

What information does faculty receive if a student is approved for a face mask exemption?

Faculty will be notified by the Center for Accessibility and Disability Resources that a student in your course has been granted an exemption for the mask mandate. (As with all other approved accommodations, the accommodation will also appear in your class roster in Banner.) It is important to know that you will work together to determine reasonable accommodations for your course. Until reasonable accommodations have been determined, the student should temporarily plan to participate in your course online/remotely.  It is the University’s goal to complete this process within two weeks.

What if a student without an ADA accommodation refuses to wear a mask in class?

Students may not refuse to wear a mask in a course without an ADA accommodation authorized by the Center for Accessibility and Disability Resources.

If a student attempts to do otherwise, the faculty member or instructor should ask them to leave the classroom immediately and, instead, participate in the class online (but only if that has already been established as an option for students in that class; faculty are not required to create an unplanned online course option solely for students failing to comply with the Interim Public Health Policy In Response To COVID-19 for Academic Year 2021 – 2022).

If a non-compliant student refuses to leave when asked, the instructor may cancel that class session and must report the student to the Office of Student Responsibility and Community Standards. The Office of Student Responsibility and Community Standards may pursue disciplinary action with the student and may contact you for more information.

Student compliance with the Interim Public Health Policy In Response To COVID-19 for Academic Year 2021 – 2022 is fundamental to our campus safety; their failure to live by campus COVID-19 policies could result in their dismissal from SLU. 

I am not comfortable having a student in class who is not wearing a mask. Can I require them to participate online for the semester?

No. ADA accommodations cannot, legally, be addressed by a blanket policy requiring students with an ADA exemption from the mask policy to learn online/remotely. The ADA explicitly requires that a “reasonable accommodation” be determined on a case-by-case basis via a dialogue among SLU’s appointed ADA officer, the student, and, as needed, the faculty member.  Each student’s disability is unique to them, and each class setting in which that disability manifests is also going to be unique.  What works for one student in one setting/course might not for another student – or even that same student in a different setting/course.

Do students have to have an ADA accommodation to receive a mask exemption?  

Yes. Only students with a documented disability that warrants an accommodation under the ADA will be approved for an exception to the mask policy; accommodations must still provide for the safety and well-being of all involved.

I do not have an ADA accommodation related to masks. What will happen if I refuse to wear a mask and am unvaccinated?

Student compliance with the Interim Public Health Policy In Response To COVID-19 for Academic Year 2021 – 2022 is fundamental to our campus safety. Failure to live by campus COVID-19 policies could result in their dismissal from SLU.

If a non-compliant student refuses to leave when asked, the instructor may cancel that class session and must report the student to the Office of Student Responsibility and Community Standards. The Office of Student Responsibility and Community Standards may pursue disciplinary action with the student and may contact you for more information.

Some classes use exam software that uses facial recognition software for proctoring reasons. May students remove their mask in order for the software to recognize them?

Yes, students may momentarily remove their mask in order for exam facial recognition software to work/allow them into the exam. This software takes a picture of the student at baseline and immediately before an exam. These programs work very quickly; they are able to identify an individual in less than one minute. The very short time in which it takes for the program to capture a picture of the student to compare to the baseline photo will not place others in the classroom at risk of exposure. Once the software has identified the student, the student should put their mask back on and keep it on for the duration of the exam/class.

 May instructors or students remove their mask in class in order to take a drink?

Yes, individuals may momentarily move or remove their mask in order to take a quick drink. The very short time in which it takes to take a quick drink will not place others in the classroom at risk of exposure. It is not acceptable to remove your mask to eat a snack or meal during class.

Safeguards in the Classroom 

Are instructors responsible for any classroom and/or classroom equipment disinfection prior to and following sessions? 

The University follows routine cleaning and disinfection protocols for all campus spaces, including classrooms and labs. 

Are instructors responsible for symptom monitoring of students in their class(es)? 

No. Instructors are only responsible for monitoring and reporting their own health symptoms. 

What should a faculty member do if an in-person student tells them they are quarantining or isolating and will not be in in-person classes for a few weeks?

Absences due to isolation/quarantine during the fall 2021 semester will be handled as extended authorized absences. Students should contact their instructors to discuss how they can maintain progress in their courses.  Learn more

 

 

Additional Safeguards on Campus

At times, the SLU Grand Shuttle is very crowded, with all the seats taken and passengers standing in the aisle of the shuttle.  How is this being handled?

In conjunction with University requirements for masks on campus, masks are also required at all times when riding the shuttles. Shuttle routes, capacity and additional safeguards have been reviewed with the shuttle service provider and  posted on the Billiken Shuttle Service page on slu.edu and on the SLU app

Are any events or in-person programs allowed on campus? What about in-person meetings?

Most on-campus activities have resumed in fall 2021. For more information on in-person activities, consult the Guidance for Student Activities, Meetings and Events.

Are there any travel restrictions in place? 

University-sponsored travel to  locations that fall under the State Department’s Level 4: Do Not Travel advisory is prohibited. 

To protect the health of the SLU community, faculty, staff and students who are seeking to engage in University-sponsored travel must attest that they have been vaccinated against COVID-19 or will quarantine upon their return. 

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What if my Questions Haven't Been Answered? 

Contact pandemic@slu.edu and we will connect you to the right place as soon as possible.