Cal Poly Global Site Tag

Google Tag Manager

Frequently Asked Questions

The below Frequently Asked Questions are meant to provide guidance for the courses and operations during the fall quarter 2023. Please bookmark this page for future reference. 

Quick Links:

Skip to a section:

COVID-19 Safety Guidelines

What safety protocols, practices, and procedures will be in place for classrooms and office spaces on campus? Updated 9/13/22

  • Cleaning frequencies for classrooms are daily spot cleaning, including disinfecting high touch surfaces, and weekly thorough cleaning. Lab spaces will have trash pick-up and touch point disinfection performed daily with a more thorough cleaning performed weekly.
  • 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). Lab owners should reach out to Facilities to schedule a meeting to determine the need, frequency, and circumstances of the change in cleaning routine.
  • Personal-sized sanitizer is available at the Facilities Warehouse (Bldg. 70A).

What support and resources are available to instructors to help enforce safety protocols, practices, and procedures in the classroom? Updated 1/5/23

  • The Center for Teaching, Learning and Technology (CTLT) has created a sample syllabus statement to help explain safety protocols to students.

What are the current face covering requirements on campus? Updated 8/1/23

  • Visit the Coronavirus FAQs page for the most current requirements on campus.  

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 Coronavirus FAQs page. 
  • Student-centered campus communications will continue to be shared with employees for their information as well.  

COVID-19 Classroom Procedures

Will instructors know if a student in their classroom has tested positive for COVID-19 or if their class has been exposed? Updated 1/5/23

  • 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. No proof of testing positive is required.
    • CHW also will instruct students to notify close contacts.
    • CHW instructs the student to complete an online questionnaire to identify the courses they attended while infectious.
    • EHS investigates the student case and notifies faculty and staff of close contacts or potential exposures.
  • 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 Christina Juarez ( or 805-440-1392) to begin the exposure investigation process. 
    • Instructors may never know that a student tests positive, if the test is taken off campus and the student elects not to share the information voluntarily.  
  • If a student tells their instructor they have tested positive for COVID: 
    • Instructors should instruct a positive student as they would for other absences due to illness and can encourage the student to work with the Disability Resource Center to begin the academic accommodation process for general accommodations. 
    • Instructors should contact Christina Juarez ( or 805-440-1392) to begin the exposure investigation process.
    • Any staff or faculty member of the University community that becomes aware that they may have been in close contact with someone who either has tested positive for or is suspected to have COVID-19 is expected to report the positive result or exposure using the COVID-19 Reporting Form for Cal Poly Faculty and Staff on the Human Resources website. 

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. 
  • 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? Updated 1/5/23

  • 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 a screenshot of the student’s visit log from their health portal.

Can employees ask for proof that students or fellow employees have been vaccinated? Updated 04/06/2023

  • No. 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.  

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-19 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? 

Related Content