As the University of Utah returns to instruction after an extended winter break, it’s a good time to review best practices for maintaining health and safety in experiential learning settings—not only in classrooms, but in labs, practicums, studios, and in smaller face-to-face gatherings.
Here are a few basic guidelines that still are critical to efforts to limit COVID-19 exposures and infections. Faculty should:
- Maintain a daily seating chart. Assigned seating helps University of Utah Health contact tracers isolate potential exposures and limit the need for blanket quarantines of an entire class.
- Take daily attendance. These records also are critical to contact tracing efforts by identifying those who were present during a potential exposure.
- Encourage everyone to follow basic COVID-19 hygiene guidance, including frequent hand-washing and physical distancing. Masks are required to be worn in all indoor campus spaces and when physical distancing is not possible outdoors.
- Faculty should stay home if they have symptoms of COVID-19 and encourage students to stay home if they have been exposed or are experiencing symptoms.
- Make sure students and everyone in their units are aware of expanded university COVID-19 testing services: https://alert.utah.edu/covid-19-testing/. Students visiting campus for in-person classes are expected to participate in weekly COVID-19 testing. Each Thursday throughout the semester, students will be notified via their @utah.edu email accounts about how to schedule a test during the coming week.
- Remind anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 that they must self-report at https://coronavirus.utah.edu/.
- Finally, accommodate the instructional needs of students who are quarantining or self-isolating due to COVID-19, or who have ADA accommodations.
Two non-instruction days are scheduled for March 5 and April 5, and instruction for all classes will be online March 1-14. The university implemented a “circuit breaker” for fall semester based on the advice of U Health public health managers and will implement the same practice during spring semester.
For more guidance about in-person, hybrid and virtual instruction this semester, please review the 2020-2021 Instructional Guidelines.