Faculty COVID Classroom FAQ

A student tells me they have tested positive. What do I do next?

  • You can notify the SAFER Team via the Daily Wellness Check, which is located on my.fsu.edu or on the MyFSU app. Click the Daily Wellness Check and then the “report to SAFER” option is on the upper right.
  • Guide the student to resources at uhs.fsu.edu and stayhealthyfsu.edu/safer.
    • Let them know the SAFER team will be in touch for contact assessment. SAFER will call from 850-644-5555.
    • Ask the student to send a copy of the test results to uhs-medicalrecords@fsu.edu
  • If the class is in-person, remind the student to not attend class until cleared to return.
  • Discuss what will be missed (either in person or online if the student is too sick to participate) and how that work may be made up.

Do I need to notify anyone else? Do I let SAFER know?

You can submit a report through the  button on the Daily Wellness Check available for faculty to report this directly to the SAFER Team. This will add the student's name and information to our secure database. This is the most direct way to let us know. If you have additional questions or have an urgent need, please reach out to COIVD19@fsu.edu.

I reported a student who tested positive. What happens next?

  • SAFER will reach out to the student for a contact assessment interview. The interview will identify those whom the student may have been in contact with on campus. This is a confidential process and does not necessarily mean that you or your class will be notified unless you have been in close contact according to CDC criteria. Even then, the process is confidential to protect the health information of the student.
    • According to the CDC , close contact is defined as:
      • You were within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 for at least 15 minutes or more
      • You provided care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19
      • You had direct physical contact with the person (touched, hugged, or kissed them)
      • You shared eating or drinking utensils
      • They sneezed, coughed, or somehow got respiratory droplets on you
  • The student should let you know that they will be unable to attend class, although they may not choose to specify a reason. If they have developed symptoms but have not yet talked with UHS or SAFER, leniency on your part helps ensure they feel comfortable staying away from the classroom if their health is in question.
  • The Florida Department of Health provides a letter indicating the cleared date which a recovered student may furnish when they wish to return to class. If a student has been identified as a close contact and quarantined, they receive a call from FDOH. They may contact SAFER if they require a letter, as SAFER mediates this process with FDOH.

I submitted the report to SAFER but I haven't heard anything.  Do I need to let the students in my class know as well?

  • You should not share any information about a student's health with the class, including positive COVID results.  The SAFER team, as part of the interview process, will be connecting students with resources and addressing questions that made be medical in nature.  As trained professionals, they are best positioned to guide students and those around them through the next steps, signs to watch for, things to do, and timelines for isolation or quarantining.
  • Once the reports have been submitted, the SAFER team will reach out to the student in question and thorugh that interview process, determine who else may need to be contacted.  Based on the CDC guidance for determining close contact and follow up, it is entirely possible you might not be contacted.  This does nmot mean that SAFER has ignored the report or is not following up.

What else should I track or monitor for my class?

  • It is helpful if you keep a list of student names and the dates they reported as positive associated with your class or department. If there is a rising number of cases in a particular classroom or area in a relatively short time period (2 -3 weeks), this may be a result of general community spread.  This information may be shared with the SAFER team. SAFER works alongside the Leon County Health Department's epidemiology team to evaluate and put in place appropriate response according to FDOH recommendations.

Do I need to request cleaning of my classroom or office space?

  • Deep cleaning of regular classroom spaces already occurs nightly for classrooms and shared campus spaces. This ensures spaces are disinfected even before FSU is notified of a positive student.
  • If you were teaching in department-controlled spaces like a specialized lab, production studio, etc., reach out to your department or college facilities coordinator to discuss scheduling a deep cleaning.
  • If you were teaching or met with the infected student in your office, reach out to Building Services to coordinate a deep clean of your office space.  You will need to submit a work order through the FSU Service Center or call 644-2424.  You will need to provide the building and room number, what areas need to be cleaned (cubicle, desk, work surface, etc), and the date and time that cleaning could occur without disrupting business. Generally, the office can cleaned and ready for re-occupancy within 24 hours or by the following day.  NOTE: please remove any personal items or affects from the areas to be cleaned.

How will I know if a student has been cleared to return?

You may have two different situations: a student who has tested positive (positive in isolation), or a student who was exposed to someone who tested positive (close contact).

  • Positives in Isolation: FDOH issues isolation clearance letters for positive student cases in coordination with University Health Services and the SAFER team.
  • Close Contacts in Quarantine: FDOH will call close contacts to notify them of their release in coordination with the SAFER Team. Letters are not typically provided but can be requested via SAFER who will coordinate with FDOH.
    • A test is not required but is recommended during days 6-8 of quarantine. The full 14 days of CDC quarantine should be observed regardless of test result.

FDOH clears students according to CDC criteria. For those who test off campus, students may provide to to University Health Services to be added to their medical record via uhs-medicalrecords@fsu.edu so that UHS can advocate on their behalf to FDOH.

Where can I report conduct non-compliance, such as lack of appropriate distancing or masking?

  • Conduct cases should be directed to report.fsu.edu, including off-campus large gatherings that may be concerning.

What is the threshold to move an in-person class to remote learning for a period of time, and who decides that?

FSU works closely with health officials at the Florida Department of Health to assess the cases and contacts for each situation. The Provost may choose to move a class to remote instruction in a more conservative approach.

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