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Frequently Asked Questions

The below Frequently Asked Questions are meant to provide guidance for the courses and operations during the summer 2022 term. Updates for the fall will be made ahead of the start of the 2022-23 academic year. Please bookmark this page for future reference. For the latest advisories and updates related to coronavirus, please visit the Cal Poly Coronavirus website.

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COVID-19 Safety Guidelines

What safety protocols, practices, and procedures will be in place for classrooms and office spaces on campus? Updated 7/22/22

  • Cal Poly Facilities Management and Development has outlined its COVID-19 safety procedures on its FMD Coronavirus Response 2021-22 page. 
  • Cal Poly’s Facilities Operations team is planning for all utilized classrooms to be thoroughly cleaned once per day, following CDC guidelines.  Lab spaces will have trash pick-up and touch point disinfection performed daily with a more thorough cleaning performed weekly. 
  • Hand sanitizer will continue to be provided via dispensers in prominent locations of occupied buildings and offices. 
  • Custodial cleaning and disinfecting schedules and practices are located on the Facilities Management and Development FMD Coronavirus Response 2021-22 page.  
  • Additionally, Sanitation Stations (including disinfectant cleaner, paper towels, disposable gloves, sterilized wet wipes, and hand sanitizer) will be provided and maintained for labs, classrooms and department spaces as requested by college or unit leadership. 
  • Please Note: Classrooms and teaching labs located adjacently will be equipped with a shared sanitation station. Stations will be located in a common area that is easily accessible. Not every classroom will have an individual sanitation station, however classrooms which are isolated from others may be equipped with their own supplies. Floorplans showing locations of touchless hand sanitizer units and sanitizing stations are available on the FMD website
  • Some classroom or lab spaces may have different cleaning routines depending on the nature of the course (e.g., workstations that are exclusively used by one student throughout the quarter). 

What support and resources are available to instructors to help enforce safety protocols, practices, and procedures in the classroom; including campus pass and daily health screening requirements? Updated 6/20/22

  • The Center for Teaching, Learning and Technology (CTLT) has created a sample syllabus statement to help explain safety protocols to students. This statement represents the campuswide policies, practices, and expectations appropriate for students taking classes in summer 2022.
  • Please see the COVID-19 Classroom Procedures section for more campus pass resources.
  • Visit the Daily Screening Tool & Campus Pass page, which outlines the daily screening process, the campus pass color system, and compliance protocols.

What are the current face covering requirements on campus? Updated 3/18/22

  • Visit the Face Coverings page for the most current requirements on campus.  

What should faculty and staff members do if a student in a classroom or teaching lab refuses to adhere to campus pass requirements? Updated 3/18/22

How do I know what information is being shared with students regarding campus health and safety protocols? 

  • The most updated information on campus health and safety protocols may be found at the Cal Poly Coronavirus page. 
  • Student-centered campus communications will continue to be shared with employees for their information as well.  

Course Modality

What is the process for a faculty member to request to change the modality of their class (e.g. F2F to virtual, F2F to hybrid, synchronous to asynchronous)? Updated 1/14/22

  • Course modalities were decided by the departments and colleges in consultation with the faculty member and communicated to students several months in advance of the quarter.
  • While scheduled in-person class sessions are not normally replaced with online activities, be reminded that AS-896-20 stipulates that the in-person modality does not prohibit or limit technology-mediated instruction. Technology-mediated instruction, which includes online activity, may be blended up to 25% of a face-to-face course at the faculty's discretion. Faculty members are encouraged to keep their department head/chair abreast of such changes in case they receive questions from students or campus instruction stakeholders, or they need to consider classroom scheduling resources. 
  • Faculty members should consult with their department head/chair to develop solutions in the event they need to change course modality beyond the 25% stipulated by AS-896-20 to accommodate temporary COVID-related situations like personal illness, care for sick family members, childcare emergencies, or other unplanned-for contingencies.
  • Consultation with the department head/chair on modality changes is important for safety and clarity reasons, so that chairs have information they need during emergencies and so they can provide guidance to students who come to the department for assistance. 
  • If a request is due to a faculty member’s personal health circumstances, the faculty member can consult the Human Resources Disability Accommodation Request process to learn about their options. 
  • In cases where the request is due to pressing reasons not linked to a faculty member’s personal health circumstances, the department head/chair will consult with the college dean to determine the appropriate response. 
  • The health and safety of our community remains our highest consideration, and we will continue to follow state and local public health guidance while holding firm in our commitment to prioritizing student success. 
  • More information about Instruction Planning Guidelines and Strategies can be found in the Employee Repopulation Plan.

In what modality should faculty hold office hours? Updated 3/18/22

  • Faculty members should discuss office hour modalities with their department head/chair. 
  • The campus pass can also be utilized as a resource for faculty during office hours and in other interactions they may have with students. 
  • Please see the most current Office Hours policy on the Academic Programs and Planning website which includes background, scheduled instructional office hours scaled to instructional assignments, mode of office hours, notification, and exceptions. 

What is the protocol for field trips for the 2021-22 academic year? 

  • Updated guidance for course-related field work for the 2021-22 academic year is available on the Academic Programs and Planning website. Refer to your department/college for the process for completing these required forms.

COVID-19 Classroom Procedures

What are best practices for utilizing the campus pass? Updated 6/20/22

  • Here are some suggestions that may be helpful to faculty and staff should they choose to take advantage of the campus pass tools in their learning environments. 

    • Communicate a clear procedure for checking the campus pass in your syllabus or program-specific materials. If you plan to check campus passes in your classroom, lab, event, or other campus space, add a brief explanation of your procedure so that everyone understands your expectations upfront. The CTLT COVID-19 Faculty Resources page contains a sample campus pass classroom syllabus statement that can be modified for a variety of academic contexts. 

    • Post campus pass signage. Post a sign or notice near the entryway of your learning environment, service point, office, or other highly visible area of your space so that students know campus passes will be checked. Find downloadable signs by visiting the faculty/staff resources section of the COVID-19 Self-Screening page

    • You have the option to check the campus pass prior to entry into a campus space. If you choose to check campus passes, do so at the outset of a class session, appointment, service point interaction, program event, or student-employment shift and do so at the entryway of your classroom or campus space. 

    • Learn more on addressing student conduct issues. Please look for additional information on this topic by visiting the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities

  • If a student presents a blue pass on the first day of classes, please consider recording their attendance before asking them to go get tested; line drops based on COVID-19 reasons on day one of the class should be avoided.

  • After the first class session, students turned away from a face-to-face class session because of their campus pass status are subject to the faculty member’s course attendance and make-up work policies.  

  • Note that having a blue pass does not fall within the university’s attendance guidelines for excused absences.  

  • Please consider accounting for campus pass absences in course policy statements
  • Visit the Daily Screening Tool & Campus Pass page, which outlines the daily screening process, the campus pass color system, and compliance protocols. 

Will instructors know if a student in their classroom has tested positive for COVID-19 or if their class has been exposed? Updated 1/10/22

  • If a student tests positive through on-campus testing:  
    • Campus Health and Wellbeing (CHW) advises the student to disclose their positive test result to the instructor of in-person classes to begin the academic accommodation process.
    • CHW also will instruct students to notify close contacts per SLO County online process instructions. 
    • CHW then notifies Environmental Health and Safety (EHS), which triggers the exposure investigation process for instructor(s) involved. 
    • An instructor is notified by EHS via the exposure investigation process. See the FAQ below on class notification. 
    • Instructors can request to see each student’s campus pass daily. 
    • Visit the Daily Screening Tool & Campus Pass page, which outlines the daily screening process, the campus pass color system, and compliance protocols.
  • If a student tests positive through county or other means, the campus may be notified.  
    • If an instructor is notified, they are encouraged to contact Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) to begin the exposure investigation process. 
    • Instructors may never know that a student tests positive, if the test is taken off campus and there is not determined to be any risk of exposure to the class, or if the student elects not to share the information voluntarily.  
  • If a student tells their instructor they have tested positive for COVID: 

How do faculty support students in their classes who test COVID-19 positive? Updated 1/2/22

  • Faculty are not expected to provide an online alternative to in-person class sessions.
  • Faculty are expected to treat students who test positive like any other student who misses class due to illness. 
  • Information for students who cannot be in class due to isolation, including how they should contact professors, is available through the Dean of Students website.
  • Students can make arrangements as they typically do by coordinating directly with the faculty member to develop arrangements that might allow them to receive credit for missed assignments or activities. Students should consult specific course syllabus guidelines where appropriate.
  • Faculty may arrange for general accommodations which could include:
    • A notetaker (while maintaining confidentiality of the ill student)
    • Virtual or makeup exams/classwork
    • Other virtual opportunities to maintain engagement with which the DRC might assist
  • If, during the quarter, a student enrolled in in-person courses is unable to participate in the course due to health concerns or extended length absences, they should reach out to the Disability Resource Center (DRC) to explore options related to accommodations or consult the Registrar's Office for policies related to course withdraws.

When provided an official Notice of Exposure, how should instructors address a positive COVID-19 case in their class? 

  • The EHS notification process includes information on appropriate ways to notify students in their class of the potential exposure. An outline of the exposure notification process and guidance for instructors when a student tests positive is available on the EHS COVID-19 Exposure Response Protocol webpage.
  • Instructors are encouraged to remind students in their classes to follow current health and safety guidelines, monitor themselves for COVID-19 symptoms, stay home if they have any COVID-19 symptoms, and get tested if they are symptomatic or learn that a close contact has been infected.
  • To protect individuals’ privacy and to ensure that notifications are legally compliant, Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) is responsible for providing notice to employees in accordance with OSHA requirements.  Instructors should rely on Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) to make notifications.  An individual’s private health information should not be shared by instructors.

Can faculty members ask students for a doctor’s note to prove they tested positive for COVID-19? 

  • No. Should a student inform their instructor that they’ve tested positive for COVID-19, the instructor should take them at their word ​and keep this information confidential. Having to show proof may be challenging during an already taxing time for the student. ​ 
  • Due to the increased administrative and clinical demands on Cal Poly’s Health Center at this time, they are currently unable to provide a doctor’s note to COVID-19 positive students. 
  • In lieu of requiring a doctor’s note, an instructor who feels that a student must show proof of the COVID-19 positive status may consider asking to see the student’s campus pass or a screenshot of the campus pass on the day of the absence. 

Can employees ask for proof that students or fellow employees have been vaccinated?

  • No. While the July 27 CSU Order requires all students and employees to self-attest that they have been vaccinated or are eligible for an exemption, asking an individual about their vaccination status, may encroach on their privacy rights and possibly place an unintentional power dynamic on the instructor/student/employee relationship.  
  • Requesting to view a student’s campus pass should be the primary tool used by employees to ensure students entering a classroom or campus space are vaccinated or compliant with testing requirements.  

Should I notify staff with whom I work closely about COVID-positive cases in my class?

  • To protect individuals’ privacy and to ensure that notifications are legally compliant, Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) is responsible for providing notice to employees in accordance with OSHA requirements.  Instructors should rely on Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) to make notifications.  An individual’s private health information should not be shared by instructors. 
  • When/if instructors are notified of a positive COVID case related to their classroom activities, they should make EHS aware that the course has associated support staff that may also need to be notified as appropriate.  

Employee Health and Wellbeing

Where can I find information about COVID leaves of absence and returning to work protocols? 

What other health and wellbeing resources are available on campus to employees? 

  • Employee and Organizational Development (EOD) has curated an online toolkit for navigating returning to workplace. Please see the EOD homepage for more current resources 
  • The Cal Poly Employee Emergency Fund provides limited financial assistance when an employee is unable to meet immediate, essential expenses because of a temporary hardship related to a qualified disaster. For more information and details on how to apply, visit the Employee Emergency Fund webpage.
  • The Wellbeing and Work/Life Balance program is a free program available to help faculty, staff, and their household members with personal and workplace challenges. 

Where can faculty and staff get a COVID-19 test? 

  • For detailed information about testing availability and options for all members of the campus community, visit the COVID-19 Testing page. 

CSU Vaccination Requirement

The most updated information on vaccine requirements may be found at the COVID-19 Vaccine page. The most updated statistical information about COVID-19 in the Cal Poly community including the number of vaccinated students on campus can be found on the campus dashboard

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