(Updated August 19, 2022)

What should an instructor do if they have a student who refuses to wear a mask in their class?
When mask-optional guidance is in effect on the Danforth Campus, instructors may still request that students wear masks in their classroom. However, instructors may not require that a student leave the classroom or cancel class should a student refuse. Students have been and will be encouraged to treat requests to mask with care and consideration. 

How will instructors know if a student has been asked to isolate or quarantine? Does that mean they have COVID?
Because we are moving toward managing COVID on campus as a part of our normal operations, Habif Health and Wellness Center will no longer provide direct notification of a student’s need to isolate or quarantine to school officials. Students will receive an email from Habif when they are instructed to quarantine or isolate and when they are released. Instructors may request that students forward these emails as an indication of the timing and duration of the student’s necessary absence from class.

Under what conditions may instructors shift their course temporarily to remote delivery?
The instructor may shift to remote delivery:

  • If the instructor tests positive for COVID or is experiencing COVID symptoms.*
  • If the instructor is not up to date on their vaccines (including booster(s) if recommended by the CDC given individual circumstances) and has come into close contact (within 6 feet of a positive case for more than a cumulative total of 15 minutes within a 24-hour period) with a COVID-positive individual.*
  • If the instructor has an emergent COVID-related issue with child or elder care.
  • If significant numbers of students in the class (i.e., ~30% or more) are required to isolate such that their absences would represent a significant challenge to effective delivery of instruction for the class as a whole. 

*In both these cases, instructors are advised to contact the COVID Call Center at 314-362-5056 to report symptoms or exposure and to arrange for a free test. 

In all cases, in addition to notifying students as soon as possible, the instructor must notify their department or school of the shift in modalities and its potential duration. Schools will provide instructions on the specific individual to contact, typically a chair, director or associate or vice dean.  

How will students who have to miss class because of isolation or quarantine keep up with their coursework?
Given the importance of students being able to continue their studies while complying with public health and university guidelines around quarantine and isolation due to COVID, instructors must, within reason, continue to accommodate absences that are related to COVID diagnosis or quarantine. Students must not be required to come to class when they have been instructed to quarantine or isolate, or otherwise face significant academic disadvantage* for adhering to quarantine or isolation policies.  

Accommodations may take different forms depending on the nature of the course. Possibilities include: recordings of the class meeting (which may include video or be audio only), notes issued by the instructor, AI, or daily designated student notetaker, posting of detailed PPT slides, opportunities to engage with course material in written form rather than participation in in-person class discussion, alternate assessments that may be completed online, or whatever best suits the particular class in question. If an instructor has questions about what might be reasonable, they should contact their department chair or director.

*Law School students should be advised that the American Bar Association requires regular class attendance in order for course credit to be awarded, regardless of the circumstances.

What if an instructor learns of a student who is feeling sick or has been diagnosed with COVID? Should the instructor inform the other students in the class of a possible infection?
If a student shares a COVID-19 diagnosis or other health information (e.g., vaccination status or experience of COVID symptoms) with you, or if it is made known to you that a student has been asked by Habif Health and Wellness Center to isolate or quarantine, you may not disclose any of that information to other students in your class (even if you avoid referring to that student by name). 

Will the instructor need to quarantine if a student in their class tests positive for COVID?
Instructors should feel free to call the COVID Call Center with any questions they have regarding this. Not everyone in a classroom with a positive case would be considered a close contact. One needs to be within 6 feet of a positive case for more than a cumulative total of 15 minutes within a 24-hour period. Only if one is considered a close contact would you follow CDC guidelines, which state contacts who are up to date with their vaccines (including boosters) do not need to quarantine if they do not have symptoms, but must wear a mask indoors for 10 days from their last exposure (this would include avoiding eating with other people) and should get tested 5 days after exposure. Those who are not up to date on their vaccines must remain at home for 5 days, are advised to test after 5 days, and if negative, may leave their home but must remain masked while around others for a further 5 days. 

What happens if a student isn’t truthful about their symptoms or COVID status?
Students who aren’t truthful about their symptoms or COVID status (e.g., a student who knowingly attends class with a positive or suspected COVID diagnosis or when told to isolate or quarantine by a medical provider, or a student who reports false symptoms to a university official to avoid attending class) should be referred immediately to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards. If it is determined that a student is in violation of the Code, sanctions will be imposed. To report a student who is not in compliance with the Student Conduct Code, please contact the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards by email or report violations through the COVID Safety Concerns web page.