Managing Instruction and the Impact of COVID

Chris Brown, Vice Provost for Faculty Development
Friday, August 27, 2021, 10:23 a.m.
KU Lawrence staff, faculty and affiliates, KU Graduate Teaching Assistants

Dear Instructors,

Thank you for welcoming our students to your classes. We know you’ve worked hard to prepare for this week and that some of you have questions on how recent changes in health and safety guidance, including the availability of vaccines, might affect how you respond. Below are some of the potential impacts on instruction that you may encounter this semester and resources to help you navigate potential situations.

Instructor Unwell or In Quarantine

If an instructor feels unwell and suspects COVID-19 symptoms:

  • Err on the side of caution and refrain from being around others to reduce exposure of the community.  
  • Inform your chair, dean, or faculty supervisor to ensure your classes are covered.
  • If you have COVID symptoms you should get tested. Information about where to test can be found HERE.
  • Use the health assessment form found HERE to determine proper next steps.

COVID-positive Students

If a student in your class tells you that they have tested positive for COVID:

  • You may send an email or other written communication to your class letting them know someone has tested positive for COVID-19. You may not release the COVID-positive student’s name. A sample email you can use for this purpose is attached.
  • You and your students are unlikely to be considered close contacts due to the fact that masks are required indoors. Therefore, you may not be notified by the Douglas County Health Department, Watkins, or any other medical agency as part of a contact tracing effort. There is still a possibility that you and your students were exposed, however. Anyone concerned about potential exposure can refer to the possible exposure decision tree document found HERE and follow the recommended steps.   
  • Those who have been potentially exposed to COVID-19 should test 3-5 days following a possible exposure. Information about where to test can be found HERE.
  • It is not your responsibility to monitor whether your students will need to quarantine. However, be aware that if a student is NOT vaccinated and they are considered a close contact by public health to someone who tested positive for COVID, they MUST quarantine. If a student IS vaccinated and is not showing symptoms, they DO NOT have to quarantine. This is a reason to encourage all students to get vaccinated.   
  • Students can receive a free vaccine on campus at either a pop-up clinic or at Watkins Health Services. The schedule of pop-up clinics can be found on the Watkins website.
  • Additional information related to instructional concerns and campus health safety can be found on the Protect KU website.   
  • If you feel you need more robust PPE while teaching in-person classes, please let us know. More information on what is available and how to request it can be found here: PPE Requisition | Protect KU


Quarantine of Dependents

If you find yourself in the difficult situation of having to care for a child required to quarantine by a local school district or daycare due to possible COVID-19 exposure, we ask that you take the following steps to manage your teaching responsibilities:  

  1. Inform your chair, dean, or faculty supervisor and work with them to find another instructor to meet with the class.  
  2. If another instructor is not available, then devise a meaningful alternative that could include:  
  • Engaging students remotely, but with students in the classroom and someone else designated to assist in facilitating course activities.  
  • Engaging students remotely until the end of the quarantine period.

More classroom guidelines and a FAQs page are available on the Protect KU website.

None of us wants to be in these situations, but it’s also wise and important that we work together and have sound plans in light of our COVID realities.
With great respect for all you are managing,
Chris and Andrew
J. Christopher Brown
Vice Provost for Faculty Development

Andrew Foster
Emergency Management Coordinator