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Faculty, Staff and Coronavirus

Last Updated: Jan. 19, 2021

Our ability to slow the spread of COVID-19 on campus this fall and continue to offer in-person classes and the experiences you expect and deserve is up to you. It is up to each of you to take personal responsibility and place the health and safety of everyone above your own preference or comfort.

Spring Startup

Spring semester classes begin Wednesday, Jan. 13. Spring Break will be March 15-19. Exams are May 10-14 with Commencement on May 15.

Yes. Classes begin Jan. 13 and should be delivered in the manner indicated in the course catalog.

Yes. All students participating in in-person classes will be tested upon return to the Moscow campus. Testing is optional for students at other locations.

Yes. Daily ineligible-to-attend-class lists will be sent to your email. These lists ensure that you are notified about students who have not met the U of I requirements for COVID-19 testing.

Note: The university adopted the newly-released CDC guidance for quarantine. You will see students out of class for shorter periods of time as quarantine (for possible exposure) is now 10 days, but could shortened to seven for anyone showing a negative test on day five after exposure. U of I plans to provide five-day testing.

Post-Spring Break class delivery and testing protocols are not yet decided. We will continue to monitor the spread of the virus as well as the implementation of vaccines to inform our decisions about post-Spring Break requirements.

All courses should be delivered in the manner indicated in the course catalog.

Instructors should clarify expectations for attendance and participation, especially for HyFlex courses. You can make long-term arrangements with a student to complete coursework virtually at your discretion. Such arrangements are optional and are not required outside of the course format type. To document these arrangements (and possibly exempt students from COVID-19 testing requirements) a Remote Instruction Override must be in place through VandalWeb.

Instructors are not required to provide long-term COVID-19-related instructional accommodations outside of the assigned course format. Instructors can anticipate some shorter-term attendance disruptions due to illness, quarantine and/or isolation requirements.

What Do I Do?

  • Do not notify the entire class.
  • Do not cancel/move or otherwise adjust class.
  • You will be contacted by Public Health or university representative if you are considered a close contact. Public Health identifies a close contact as being within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes without a mask.
  • If you are not contacted by Public Health or a university representative, you should continue your regular routine and follow the Healthy Vandal Pledge.

The list of student ineligible to attend in-person class includes those:

  • who have not tested
  • who tested positive

The quarantine recommendations are managed by Public Health. They cannot share every quarantine case with the university as this is confidential medical information. They do not sort cases by U of I employee or student. While it is much easier for the university to keep track of quarantined students who live on campus, there is no way of accurately tracking those who live off campus who may have been asked to quarantine. The majority of our students have shown they can and will do the right thing. We need to continue to trust that students will quarantine if it is recommended.

If you have particular concern about a student, submit a VandalCare report.

  • Don’t panic.
  • Their diagnosis is protected information. You cannot share this information. This includes supervisors sharing with staff and instructors sharing with a class and students sharing with each other.
  • You will be contacted by Public Health or university representative if you are considered a close contact. Public Health identifies a close contact as being within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes without a mask.
  • If you are not contacted by Public Health or a university representative, you should continue your regular routine and follow the Healthy Vandal Pledge.

COVID-19 is not immediately detectable. The incubation period is a minimum of five days. Testing prior to five days after potential exposure may not provide accurate results. After potential exposure, you should limit your regular activities and, when you need to go out, use proper safety precautions, including a face covering, social distancing and proper hand washing.

You should quarantine as much as possible while waiting for results. If you must go out, wear a face covering, social distance and wash your hands regularly.

Learn more about who should quarantine.

You can share your own diagnosis, if you choose. You should not share the medical status or diagnosis of another person.

This depends on your situation.

  • If you are symptomatic, please call your healthcare provider or the Vandal Health Clinic at 208-885-6693 to schedule an appointment at the drive-thru site at Gritman Medical Center.
  • All students participating in in-person classes will be tested upon return to the Moscow campus in January. You will receive an email from covid19questions@uidaho.edu with instructions for scheduling a time.
  • If you are in Moscow and would like a test prior to Jan. 6, email covid19questions@uidaho.edu to schedule a time.
  • During the spring semester, surveillance testing will again be used. If you receive an email invitation, please participate.
  • If you are in other places in the state, follow your local protocol.

General FAQ

  • Do not notify the entire class.
  • Do not cancel/move or otherwise adjust class.
  • If anyone in the class is considered a close contact (less than six feet for more than 15 minutes without masks) Public Health will notify those individuals.
  • Work with your student to help them continue to participate in class remotely.

The list of student ineligible to attend in-person class includes those:

  • who have not tested
  • who tested positive

The quarantine recommendations are managed by Public Health. They cannot share every quarantine case with the university as this is confidential medical information. They do not sort cases by U of I employee or student. While it is much easier for the university to keep track of quarantined students who live on campus, there is no way of accurately tracking those who live off campus who may have been asked to quarantine. The majority of our students have shown they can and will do the right thing. We need to continue to trust that students will quarantine if it is recommended.

If you have particular concern about a student, submit a VandalCare report.

The Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) has a lot of information to support teaching during these challenging times including recorded workshops and online resources. CETL is also available for individual consultations.

CETL will host several workshops and work groups throughout the Spring 2021 semester.

According to the October 2020 faculty questionnaire, the HyFlex format presented the most challenges in the fall. There are several resources available to consult if you are assigned to teach in a HyFlex format:

To continue to work remotely, you must have an HR-approved accommodation or flexplace agreement on file.

You are expected to return to your regular work location on the start date of your contract, unless you have an approved flexplace plan.

We learned a lot about how to deliver courses during the pandemic in Fall 2020. As such, no cases were traced to the classroom. We will follow the same protocols in Spring 2021. COVID-19 testing will be available for faculty and staff but is not mandatory. Students will be tested for COVID-19 upon return to the Moscow campus. Protocols are in place to isolate any student testing positive until they can to return to the classroom. Masks are required in all university buildings with few exceptions. Instructors can request a face shield to be used when teaching. Thermal scanners will take external temperatures of people as they enter dining areas.

Like other university rules, such as no tobacco on campus, instructors can and should educate students about the requirement and then can ask the student not complying with the face mask requirement to leave the classroom. Everyone is required to acknowledge the Healthy Vandal Pledge in VandalWeb which outlines the expectations and requirements of the university.

There may be times that you need to confront members of our community who are not adhering to the Healthy Vandal Pledge. Here is a simple rubric to follow on confronting this behavior.

Step 1. Ask the person to follow the expectations outlined the Healthy Vandals Pledge and request the person correct their behavior in a polite and respectful manner.

Here are some examples of ways to address the behavior:

  • The university requires that all individuals on campus maintain appropriate social distancing, especially in classroom settings or in the presence of members of our community who are more susceptible to COVID-19. I need you to please practice proper social distancing to keep our community safe.
  • There is a requirement that all community members wear a face covering appropriately to keep us all safe and healthy. I need you to please wear your wear a face covering before continuing to be in this space.
  • I am asking you to do this to keep you and our community safe. Will you please wear you face covering?
  • I understand that you do not want to miss this class/event/meeting, but for the safety of our community, I cannot let you continue attending this class/event/meeting until you follow the appropriate expectations. How can I help you attend this class/event/meeting safely?
  • Can you please wear your face covering and/or maintain appropriate social distancing? All of us need to follow the expectations so we can remain on campus and not have to move to remote instruction. Will you please help keep our community safe and contribute to us being able to stay on campus?

Step 2. Inform the person of the importance of following the expectations in the Healthy Vandals Pledge.

Share resources regarding the safe practices.

  • uidaho.edu/coronavirus
  • Where can they get face coverings? All students should have received a face covering. If you need a single use face covering, contact covid19questions@uidaho.edu.
  • Where can I pursue accommodations if I have a medical reason to not wear a face covering? CDAR for student accommodations or HR for employee accommodations.

Step 3. When to report.

The health of our community includes healthy confrontation. Issues of non-compliance don’t always have to be reported. Accountability and corrective action are everyone’s responsibility and most of the situations will be resolved amicably. But sometimes we reach a point when reporting the behavior is the best action.

Here are some situations where reporting is appropriate:

  • The person has been reminded several times either within a class period or over many days.
  • The person has actively refused to comply with the request and responds disrespectfully.
  • The person has caused disruption in the educational or work environment.

When you get to this point of reporting, here are somethings to include and keep in mind:

  • If possible, follow up with the person privately (either in person or via email) to further determine if there is an issue with using face coverings and first try to resolve it through conversation.
  • It is important to let the person you are addressing know that the behavior in question will be reported either at the point of the conversation or as a follow up email.
  • It will be most helpful to have the name of the person you are reporting.
  • You are able to report anonymously, but it is better to include your information in case there are follow up questions.
  • To report the incident, please file a VandalCARE report. You can report both students and employees here. Employee reports will be sent to Human Resources. Student reports will be sent to the Dean of Students.

Syllabi language has been prepared to help instructors guide classroom behavior. A faculty toolkit includes step-by-step “how to” guidance to confront COVID-19 protocol complaints and troubling behaviors.

This is an agreement delivered electronically through VandalWeb in which all faculty, staff and students are asked to acknowledge you have read and understand the Healthy Vandal protocols and will do your part to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Read the Healthy Vandal Pledge outside of VandalWeb.

The Vandal Pledge is an acknowledgement by employees that you received and are familiar with the university’s protocols set forth in the pledge. The university has an expectation that you will follow these protocols, including the mandatory wearing of face coverings in U of I buildings.

The pledge is not intended to be a waiver of liability.

Instructors are not required to use BbLearn but are expected to deliver content in the method indicated in the course catalog.

Faculty can anticipate some shorter-term attendance disruptions due to illness, quarantine and/or isolation requirements. Instructors are not required to provide long-term COVID-19-related instructional accommodations outside of the assigned course format.

Long-term arrangements with a student to complete coursework virtually at your discretion. Such arrangements are optional and are not required outside of the course format type. To document these arrangements (and possibly exempt students from COVID-19 testing requirements) a Remote Instruction Override must be in place through VandalWeb.

We strongly encourage faculty to follow the CDC recommendation to “stay home when you are sick” but avoid canceling classes when possible. Online teaching resources can be used in such cases. Faculty members must notify their supervisor and use sick leave if they are not able to work.

Your course should be delivered in the method indicated in the course catalog.

Significant upgrades in classroom technology allow more courses to be delivered electronically and recorded. As many classes as possible will be recorded and the availability of these should be communicated clearly to your students.

Because we are encouraging everyone to stay home if they are sick, you should work with your students to ensure they are not punished academically for following safety protocols.

Safety

Yes. Face coverings are required inside all university buildings statewide. Face coverings include cloth masks, bandanas, scarves or any other material that covers the nose and mouth. Face coverings must also be worn outside when social distancing of at least 6 feet is not sustainable.

Face shields are an option for instructors. Face shields should be put on after reaching the front of the classroom and establishing a 6-foot distance from any student. Instructors should switch to a face covering before leaving the front of the room.

If you are not feeling well, you should stay home. Contact a medical professional if necessary, or file a VandalCARE report for additional assistance.

Testing is available to faculty and staff but is not required. You can sign up online for a test time.

You will be contacted by Idaho Public Health to begin the contact tracing process. You should isolate at home and follow the instructions of your physician and Idaho Public Health. File a VandalCARE Report to notify HR, should you need access to resources.

Testing of faculty and staff is voluntary and is provided by U of I’s COVID testing program on the Moscow campus. Also, testing is covered by your University of Idaho insurance through Blue Cross of Idaho for all participating U of I employees.

Thermal scanners have been installed at the entrance to the ISUB food court and the HUB. If your temperature is too high to be admitted to these areas, grab-and-go options are available.

Environmental Health and Safety is available to evaluate workspaces. We have industrial hygienists on staff who can provide guidance. Contact them at safety@uidaho.edu.

U of I has a contact tracing team working in conjunction with Idaho Public Health. At this time no app has been identified to help in this effort. If this changes, you will be notified.

Human Resources

The university has the legal right to relieve an employee from duty for a variety of reasons, including illness. In some situations, this can present unintended consequences for the employee’s pay, so requiring employee to go home is not encouraged. Supervisors should encourage employees to voluntarily stay home if they are sick. We all have a role to play in keeping our university community healthy.

A COVID-19 Telework form is available in VandalWeb Web Time Entry to allow users to enter telework hours caused by the disruption of COVID-19. You should report all telework for tracking purposes — up to eight hours per day. This is necessary in the event that federal or state funding becomes available that could help ease the financial burden of COVID-19. This code has no effect on pay for faculty and exempt staff.

Events

The university will follow the guidance of the state and limit events to the capacity limits set by the governor.

Yes. The NCAA and Big Sky have approved spring sports, including a spring football season. Strict COVID-19 protocols will be in place and all events are subject to cancellation due to COVID-19 protocols.

Dining

Yes. Thermal scanners have been installed at the entrance to the food court. If your temperature is too high to enter, Grab-and-go options are available. Seating is limited and face coverings should be worn except when actively eating.

U of I contracts with Sodexo for our dining services. Sodexo is an international company with a robust delivery plan.

Cleaning

Regular cleaning of all public areas, including classrooms, will be a priority. But staffing and supply constraints won’t allow cleaning between every class. Cleaning supplies and hand sanitizer will be available in all classrooms and many other areas and you are encouraged to use them.

Yes. Cleaning schedules have been increased for public areas. You should practice regular handwashing, using hand sanitizer and cleaning your workspace to help prolong the effects of professional cleaning.

Yes. Hand sanitizer will be available in many locations. The sanitizer being used is more liquid than you may be accustomed to. This sanitizer is safe for its intended purpose. If at any time you have questions or concerns about the university’s response to COVID-19, your safety or the safety of others, please file a VandalCARE Report.

After significant consideration and research of best practices ITS requests that foam covers not be cleaned. Instructors are encouraged to not touch the foam cover.

  1. The flat, plastic surfaces of the microphone apparatus can be cleaned including the transmitter/battery box and the microphone clip just by wiping them down with disinfectant.
  2. Cleaning or touching the foam cover is not necessary to attach or use the microphone. Instead, grasp the microphone clip to attach it to your shirt.
  3. Use the clip to attach the main ‘box’ to your belt or other convenient location.

Microphone Location

Microphones in ITS-managed rooms (about 30 of the 84 rooms have wireless microphones) have been upgraded and have excellent sound capture. They do not need to be clipped anywhere near the instructor’s mouth — middle of the shirt, sternum level, works well. Other microphones should be located in a location that sufficiently amplifies the voice.

Cleaning Recommendations

There are many touch points in the classroom for the instructor. Alcohol wipes or spraying disinfectant onto a paper towel is a good way to wipe down the lavalier, the keyboard, mouse, lectern surface, touch panel, monitor (if they need to adjust its position) and other surfaces.

Additional Resources

Need Help?

Please contact ITS Classroom Technology Services for additional information.

Offices and lab spaces should be cleaned regularly by those using them. Custodial staff is focusing on high-traffic, public areas, including classrooms and gathering spaces.

Aug. 4 Faculty and Staff Town Hall

U of I Leadership Presents the Plan to Re-Open

Vandal Health Clinic

Physical Address:

831 Ash Street
Moscow, ID 83843

Phone: 208-885-6693

Directions to Vandal Health Clinic