COVID-19 Weekly Update (8/26)

Aug. 28, 2020



(This message was originally sent on August 26, 2020. It is being published here for preservation.)

Dear Department Chairs, Associate Deans, Deans, Vice-Chancellors and colleagues:

We are almost at the end of the first week of classes. Some of our updates this week are reminders of messages we have shared in the last month, and some are responses to questions we received from some of you, that are worth sharing. All updates are meant to help you navigate questions about COVID, campus protocols, and faculty, staff, and student safety. As always, please send us your questions and we will try to respond to them immediately. We will also sometimes use them to craft more public answers to the community. In other words, your questions help us do our jobs, and serve you, our faculty and students better, so please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Video about Campus Safety Protocols

Please watch this video to better understand how the protocols and policies we have implemented will keep you safe and your exposure limited. These protocols will ensure that in the event there are positive cases of your students, your risk of being considered a close contact by CDC definition will remain slim and should cause no disruption to your course schedules.

If an Instructor Tests Positive

 If a faculty member or other instructor who is scheduled to teach tests positive:

  • They inform their chair
  • Chair informs dean that an instructor has tested positive – they do not reveal the identity of the instructor.
  • Chair logs the information into the Qualtrics form (note that only the direct supervisor, in this case the chair, logs the information)
  • Dean informs Provost that they have an instructor who tested positive
  • All information about the faculty member’s identity will be kept confidential

If the faculty member was scheduled to teach F2F and is able to teach the course online, then the faculty member must let the class know:

  • The class will be taught online until further notice
  • Any change in materials will be posted to Canvas
  • Any changes to assignments and schedules
  • Format and times for office hours (if they have changed)

When informing students of changes to materials and assignments (as shown in the bullet points above), instructors who want to tell the class the reason for the shift can do so, but they are under no obligation to inform the class of their positive case. They should not, however, make up an excuse as to why the changes are occurring.  In the case where the faculty member or instructor chooses to let the class know they tested positive, they should also remind students that our classroom protocols make it unlikely that any student will be considered a close contact. If for some reason a student were considered a close contact, public health officials will reach out to that individual.

If the faculty member was scheduled to teach F2F and is unable to teach the course online, the Chair will make arrangements for another individual to teach and will let the class know of the shift.

  • The Chair will let the class know that the faculty member who was scheduled to teach is unable to do so, hence the class will be taught by another faculty member.
  • The Chair will try to preserve the modality of the original class but if they are unable to find a person to teach F2F, the class may move to online.
  • Details of changes to instructor, modality, course materials, assignments, schedules, and office hours will be shared with the students by the Chair.
  • If the faculty member who tested positive wants the class to know the reason, the Chair will inform the class accordingly, but faculty are under no obligation to inform the class of their positive case. In the case where the faculty member wants the class to know, the chair should also remind students that our classroom protocols make it unlikely that any student will be considered a close contact. If for some reason a student were considered a close contact, public health officials will reach out to that individual.

If the faculty member was scheduled to teach online and is able to continue teaching online, they will do so.

If the faculty member was scheduled to teach online and is unable to continue teaching online, the Chair will make arrangements for another individual to teach and will let the class know of the shift.

  • The Chair will let the class know that the faculty member who was scheduled to teach is unable to do so, hence the class will be taught by another faculty member.
  • Details of changes to instructor, course materials, assignments, schedules, and office hours will be shared with the students by the Chair.
  • If the faculty member who tested positive wants the class to know the reason, the Chair will inform the class accordingly, but faculty are under no obligation to inform the class of their positive case.

 

Return to Campus Letters

If, at any time, you have been in quarantine, before returning to campus, you will need to have a statement from a public health case investigator indicating the date you are released from your isolation or your quarantine. The case investigator may ask you if you need a note, but you should always request one. These letters will be emailed to you as an attachment. Please keep a copy as you may be required to show proof of the release. This same protocol applies to your students.

 

Campus Clear App

As a reminder, before returning to campus every day, log your symptoms with the Campus Clear app. One precaution that all faculty, staff and students must complete is monitoring their own health on a daily basis. Visitors are also encouraged to complete self-screening. Instructors have the option of checking their students’ #CampusClear app to ensure compliance. If you choose to screen students, you should be prepared to screen students verbally if they cannot use the app due to lack of technology or other reasons.  If you click on a symptom in error, simply log out of the app and log back in. It will take you back to the symptom screen and you can enter the correct information.

If you signed up for CampusClear, and did not receive a verification, please check your Junk folder.

 

New Canvas Modules for Your Students: How to Be a Successful Learner

With the start of the Fall semester, and in the midst of the current pandemic, we are committed to making sure our students adapt, succeed, and thrive.  To this end, the Teaching For Learning Center has created modules that are designed to help students learn how to learn. Click here to watch a short (1 min 51 sec) overview video that explains the content of these modules.  Instructors can import these modules into their Canvas course sites via Canvas Commons. Click here to learn how to do this (search for “How to Be a Successful Learner at Mizzou”).

All undergraduate students can access this new How to Be a Successful Learner Canvas site by visiting their Canvas courses dashboard. They should click into the “course” and access five modules which explain how to thrive at Mizzou by leveraging strategies in the following areas:

  • Mastering the content in courses by effectively completing homework, studying for tests, reading textual content and writing papers;
  • Managing one’s time and being organized to meet academic goals;
  • Participating in class discussions and asking for help when needed;
  • Taking care of oneself by implementing COVID-19 safety procedures, by managing stress and wellbeing, and by treating others with compassion; and
  • Using technology to one’s advantage.

Additional Questions we have received from Associate Deans

Q: When a student reports to an instructor that they believe they were in contact with someone who tested positive, what should the instructor say/do?

A: Tell them they should contact Student Health or their medical provider and self-quarantine

Q: When a student reports to an instructor that they don’t feel well and believe they may have the virus, what should the instructor say/so?

A: Tell them to contact Student Health or their medical provider and self-isolate

Q: When a student who tested positive is healthy enough to be back in class, who sends a letter to the faculty that they are ok to be in class?

A: The student is responsible for asking for documentation from the public health department to provide to the instructor.

The Show Me Renewal plan website is continually updated, so be sure to refer to it for information.  In addition we are all here to help, so don’t hesitate to email or call if you have any questions.

There are many things I want to say to thank every one of you – mostly though I want to tell you how grateful I am, that you are here.

Sincerely,

Latha Ramchand