Teaching faculty and staff with a COVID-19 diagnosis have options

Instructors who test positive for COVID-19 this fall and feel well enough to teach may move their courses online during the required isolation period, senior vice president and provost Jonathan Wickert announced in a Sept. 1 message to department chairs.  

Based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, instructors who contract COVID-19 are expected to isolate at home until 10 days after their positive test if asymptomatic and 10 days after the first sign of symptoms, if they experience any. In addition, those with symptoms should continue to isolate until they've been fever-free for at least 24 hours and are seeing other COVID-19 symptoms improve.

During the isolation period, instructors who are willing and able may continue teaching by changing the delivery mode of their in-person courses to synchronous online. Department leaders should tell students about the temporary change as soon as possible, and Wickert's message provided a template for student notification.

Instructors who test positive should provide the test results to their human resources delivery team, which can be contacted by email at hr_delivery@iastate.edu. HR delivery specialists will review and approve the documentation. Instructors shouldn't send test results to their department chairs.

If an instructor with COVID-19 is too ill to teach online during their isolation, they should follow the usual process for medical absences and use accrued sick time or the additional bank of COVID-19 sick time provided by the state Board of Regents for fiscal year 2022. Departmental leaders will arrange to cover the courses, with a preference for maintaining in-person delivery.