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Faculty FAQ

Table of Contents

Faculty Health, Cases, and Exposures

1. What should I do if I test positive for COVID?

Do not come to work. Stay home, isolate away from others, and follow any instructions from your healthcare provider.

As soon as possible, please report your positive result. Someone will email you back within 24 hours to discuss next steps and answer any questions. Please watch your Cal Lutheran email as it will contain important information regarding when you can return to campus. You should also notify your department chair/program director, or your dean.

If you are not experiencing symptoms you can continue to teach your classes while isolated via Zoom.

You can opt into the “buddy system” to give another faculty member access to your class Blackboard in case you are ill and not able to hold class. In the “buddy system” a faculty member can be a teaching backup in case of emergency and have access to the Blackboard shell. For example, faculty A agrees to be a backup for faculty B. Faculty A would have Blackboard access to faculty B’s course(s). Faculty B would send a message to students saying, “Faculty A has been given access to the course’s Blackboard site in case of emergency. Note that I will continue as your faculty member.” Should an emergency arise that prohibits faculty B from teaching - faculty A would step in, communicate with students, and perhaps temporarily teach the course.

To opt into the buddy system, please submit a Blackboard Access Request form and indicate “buddy system” for the explanation.

2. What should I do if I have had an exposure to COVID?

You may report your exposure. After you complete the exposure reporting form, you will be provided with instructions on next steps.

In general, you are cleared to continue to be on campus so long as you are not having any symptoms. You must, however, get tested 3-5 days after your last exposure and wear a mask on campus for at least 10 days following your exposure. If you become symptomatic, stay home, get tested ASAP, and email covid19reporting@callutheran.edu for next steps.

3. What should I do if I live with someone who was exposed to COVID-19?

There are currently no restrictions on individuals who are contacts of contacts. So long as you did not come into contact with a person who is positive for COVID-19, there are no restrictions on your activity.

If the person you live with tests positive for COVID-19, please report your exposure and follow the steps outlined in question #2 above.

4. What should I do if I am having symptoms of COVID-19?

Please stay home and do not come to campus until 1) you have been cleared by your healthcare provider or 2) you have received a negative COVID-19 test result and you have been fever free for 24 hours without fever reducing medications.

You should notify your department chair/program director, or your dean and discuss arrangements for your classes.

5. Where can I get tested for COVID-19?

All employees are encouraged to order free at home COVID testing kits.

6. Can I get tested on campus at Cal Lutheran Health Services?

Cal Lutheran Health Services has a limited number of testing supplies available to students only. Employees are encouraged to visit https://www.venturacountyrecovers.org/ to view testing resources in Ventura County.

Student Health, Cases, and Exposures

1. What happens if a student in my class tests positive for COVID-19?

All students are required to report testing positive via the KNOW page

Faculty will receive an email from Maria Kohnke stating that the student cannot attend class because of COVID and should make appropriate accommodations. In that email from Maria Kohnke, it will also state when the student is cleared to return to class. If you have not heard from Maria Kohnke, you should remind the student that they must report their positive result. You may also email covid19reporting@callutheran.edu with the student's name who tested positive so that Health Services may reach out to the student about reporting their positive test. 

Discuss ways for the student to continue their education while isolating and provide appropriate accommodations and extensions. We’re not requiring any method (including recording) for keeping students up to date on their coursework. Since all classes are different, we’re leaving it to each faculty member to determine the best way for students to continue with coursework while in isolation. This could include using a 360 degree camera for the student to Zoom into class, but this is at the professor’s discretion. Please be flexible with your attendance policies.

Continue to teach class unless notified by the university to switch to online instruction.

2. Who is notified about exposures ?

Only employees are notified of exposures as this is required by Cal-OSHA law. Cal Lutheran no longer notifies students of any exposures, but when a person tests positive for COVID they are asked (not required) to voluntarily report their positive test to any known exposed students. They are also asked to update the CA Notify App which will update anyone with this APP who was in the proximity of the student about a possible exposure.

The definition of an exposure under California Department of Public Health guidelines is anyone in the same indoor airspace (e.g., classroom, airplane cabin, waiting room) with the infected person during their contagious period for > 15 minutes over a 24 hour period. This will typically mean that everyone in a classroom would be considered an exposure as most classes are indoors and over 15 minutes. Please see questions #3 below about notifying students in your classroom about an exposure.

3. Am I allowed to tell students about a positive COVID case in the classroom?

Faculty are allowed to inform students in a class if someone in their class tested positive for COVID so long as it does not violate FERPA privacy laws. This means that a professor can inform their class that a person who attended the "Monday 10:00 class session" (as an example) has tested positive for COVID so long as the professor does not divulge the name of the infected person. Sending a note to students containing general information and informing them of an exposure is not a violation of FERPA. In these cases, professors can remind exposed students about watching for symptoms and getting tested 3-5 days after the exposure, but they should not require students to show a negative test before coming to the next class.

4. Why wasn't I notified about an exposure?

There are many reasons individuals may not be notified of an exposure.

(1) The positive individual may not have provided their list of close contacts yet. All positive individuals are instructed to provide information regarding their close contacts as soon as possible. However, if the individual is severely ill, it may take them a couple days to get to this task as their main priority is taking care of their health. Once we receive information about close contacts, we then notify employees of the exposure within 1 business day.

(2) The positive individual may not have listed you as a close contact. Contact tracing relies on the memory of the individual who is positive for COVID. If the person who is positive for COVID forgot about an interaction or event, they may not have listed you as a close contact.

(3) The positive individual may have interacted with you outside of their infectious period. We only notify individuals of an exposure, if the exposure occurred during the positive person’s infectious period.

(4) The positive individual may not have interacted with you for long enough period of time. We only notify individuals of an exposure that meets the definition of a Close Contact under the California Department of Health Definition. The definition of a close contact is : “Someone sharing the same indoor airspace, e.g., home, clinic waiting room, airplane etc., for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period (for example, three individual 5-minute exposures for a total of 15 minutes) during an infected person's (laboratory-confirmed or a clinical diagnosis) Infectious period.”

5. If a number of students in my class report that they have tested positive for COVID, should I cancel in person classes and teach online?

Each positive case is evaluated by Cal Lutheran Health Services in conjunction with County Public Health. Health Services works with County Public Health to determine epidemiological linkages and whether additional safety measures are needed beyond the routine measures used to mitigate COVID-19 spread. Faculty will be notified if they should cancel classes and move to remote learning. In the absence of any notification, faculty should continue to teach classes as usual. 

6. What should I do if a student appears sick, but they still attend in person?

Students displaying symptoms of COVID-19, such as fever and persistent cough, are expected to complete the Daily Health Check. You may discreetly connect with the student to inquire about wellness and ask the student if they completed the Daily Health Check. Be sure to state that you are asking this out of concern for their own wellbeing as well as the wellbeing of the entire class. The Daily Health Check will notify the student if they are cleared to be on campus or not.

Please remind students to contact their own doctor or Health Services at (805) 493-3225 for proper care.

7. If a student tells me they are sick and cannot attend class, can I require any proof?

We ask that faculty give students the benefit of the doubt in the interest of the overall health of the Cal Lutheran community. Faculty should not ask for test results or other medical information, as this information is protected under patient privacy laws. Please be flexible with your attendance policies.

8. For students who are isolating or quarantining, what accommodations am I expected to provide to them?

The health of the Cal Lutheran community is of paramount importance. At the same time, it is crucial that we do whatever is feasible to ensure that students make progress toward their educational goals. Please make every effort to provide isolated and quarantined students with continuity of education. Be flexible in making accommodations, and make sure that they have access to the course materials they need to complete course requirements.

Faculty have many options available to them, including making course materials, lecture notes, readings, assignments, and recordings available, or allowing students to Zoom into class meetings using the 360 cameras. Faculty should provide extensions on course requirements if students become sick or if isolation/quarantine prevents them from completing assignments on time.

9. What do my students need to do if they believe they’ve been exposed?

Any Cal Lutheran student, faculty, or staff member who may have had an exposure should report it here. Further information will then be given to them depending on current guidelines.

Classroom and Office Safety

1. Will masks and hand sanitizer dispensers be available?

Hand sanitizers are provided at many locations across campus and there is at least one large dispenser in every building. Masks are available on the Thousand Oaks campus at Campus Safety. Masks may be obtained at the front desks of the Oxnard and Woodland Hills Satellite Centers, both Counseling Centers, and at HUB 101 at the Westlake Village Center.  

2. Are there any mask requirements on campus?

Please see the Mask Policy page

3. Do I need to take attendance or have seating charts in my classroom?

In general, taking attendance is a good practice in the event of an emergency where a building must be evacuated and students must be accounted for. Should County Public Health be concerned about an outbreak in a classroom, this information may also be valuable. However, it is not required to take attendance for purposes of routine contact tracing.

Compliance with Cal Lutheran Policy

1. Are students required to test weekly?

Please see the COVID Testing Policy page

2. Are faculty and staff required to test weekly?

Please see the COVID Testing Policy page

3. Will I be able to tell if a student in my class is unvaccinated?

No. As all students are required to mask when indoors on campus, there is not currently a need to know under FERPA for most faculty. If this policy changes, faculty will be provided with a list in the class Blackboard page of students who are required to wear masks while indoors so they may enforce the masking policy.

4. What information can I legally ask of my students related to their vaccination status?

Do not ask for vaccination status, test results, or other medical information, as this information is protected under patient privacy laws. As an alternative, you MAY remind students that they are required to follow all Cal Lutheran policies. This includes completing their Cal Lutheran Daily Health Check and making sure they are properly masked.

5. Am I required to accommodate students who request remote learning options irrespective of their COVID status?

No. Students requesting an accommodation for a covered medical illness should contact Disability Services. You should provide accommodations to any student who is approved by Disability Services for those accommodations. Questions about whether a student has an approved accommodation can be directed to DSS.