COVID-19 Update: Reminders as We Close Out Week One
Aug. 21, 2020
Dear Saint Louis University faculty and staff,
As the first week of classes comes to a close, I want to offer a few reminders and updates.
As we’ve said many times before, this semester is truly unprecedented. Our in-person and hybrid start is only possible because of the heavy lift from our faculty and staff all summer. Let’s keep that momentum going.
To that end, this message includes information to address common questions I have received this past week.
Disclosing Protected Health Information (PHI)
It is likely that some of our students and employees will either test positive for COVID-19 (and need to isolate), or come into close contact with someone who has tested positive (and need to quarantine). Our contact tracing teams (one focused on students, and the other overseen by Employee Health) will identify close contacts and inform them of the need to quarantine.
Please remember that no one is required to disclose that they are isolating or quarantining to anyone except a health provider. I want to remind you of the following:
- Students who test positive and need to isolate are not required to disclose their test results to their faculty. They may choose to inform the professor on the need to attend class remotely for a period of time.
- Students who need to quarantine due to a possible close contact exposure also may inform their faculty on the need to attend class remotely for a period of time. They are not required to do so.
- The Dean of Students Office and/or Student Health Center will soon begin providing a notification to faculty/instructors when a student in their class needs to attend remotely for a period of time due to a personal situation.
- Do not assume you know why someone needs to attend class remotely.
- When students choose to disclose their need to isolate or quarantine to an instructor, please remember that faculty should not further disclose this information (including the student’s name) to anyone else.
- Our faculty and staff have the same rights to privacy.
Please refer to this list of COVID-19 tips for faculty, which provides a quick glance at key information faculty need to know.
Students Attending Courses Remotely
Our instructors must take the necessary steps to ensure that students have equitable access to their coursework, regardless of where they are learning.
We have made it clear that some courses simply cannot be offered online, such as labs and some performing arts courses. But most didactic classes should have a live Zoom session or a recorded Zoom or Panopto session that remote students can use to participate in their courses, if there are any components of the on-campus classroom experience that would leave remote students at a disadvantage to miss. Recorded sessions should be provided to students in a timely manner.
If you need assistance with making updates to your courses to accommodate these students, please reach out to the Reinert Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning.
I appreciate all your hard work in getting us to this point, and ensuring that our students have the opportunity to continue their education here at Saint Louis University.
Thank you and God bless,
Mike Lewis, Ph.D.