Texas Tech University

Guidance to Instructors of Record in Face-to-Face and Hybrid Courses When Notified by a Student that the Student Has Tested Positive for COVID-19

To see an Update to Pandemic Related Teaching and Classroom Guidance, click here. 

Reviewed & updated: Jan. 2, 2022; Dec. 20, 2021; Issued: Aug. 27, 2021

Instructors of Record may be informed directly by a student that they have tested positive for COVID-19. The following steps are recommended for Instructors of Record to manage responding to the incident with the class they have with the student. The steps apply to both face-to-face classes and the in-person sections or components of hybrid classes.

  1. Confirm with the student whether they have reported their case in the University's COVID- 19 reporting system at https://ttucovid19.ttu.edu/User/Consent. If they have not, encourage them to do so, noting that by doing so a letter will be auto-generated that confirms their report (that may be used for absence purposes). If the student has additional questions, they can call Student Health Services at 806.743.2848. Confirm with the student their last day of attendance in the class. Send the student with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 a message using “Template 1” below.
  2. Next, message your class to inform them of possible exposure using “Template 2” below.
  3. If you as the instructor are unvaccinated and were in close proximity (less than 6 feet) with the COVID-positive student for a total of 15 minutes or longer in one day and the COVID- positive student did not have a mask on, wear a mask for the next 10 days and test at day 5.
  4. If you as the instructor are vaccinated, were masked, and were in close proximity with the COVID-positive student (or do not meet the criteria in #3), please monitor yourself for any symptoms and wear a mask in public spaces for 10 days. The CDC recommends that vaccinated people who come into close contact with someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 be tested 3-5 days after exposure and wear a mask for 10 days or a negative test result. You may continue to be in the classroom with proper masking. If you receive a positive test result, report it in the University's COVID-19 reporting system at https://ttucovid19.ttu.edu/User/Consent. Please follow all health authority guidelines and work with your chair to find a substitute, move the class online, or make alternative teaching arrangements.

 The instructor should accommodate the student's absences and provide suitable alternative learning activities or remote access to class during any isolation or quarantine period.

Also, instructors who have student athletes in a course may be contacted directly by the Athletics Department concerning a student athlete's COVID-19 exposure or positive testing.

The University continues to monitor CDC, State, and TTU System guidelines in continuing to manage the campus implications of COVID-19. Any changes affecting class policies or delivery modality will be in accordance with those guidelines and announced as soon as possible.

If Texas Tech University campus operations are required to change because of health concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is possible that in-person courses will move to a fully online delivery format. In case that is necessary, students need to be advised of technical and equipment requirements, such as web cam, microphone, and remote proctoring software.

Templates for Messages from Instructors of Record to Students Regarding Positive COVID-19 Cases and Exposure

Template 1: Message to a student who has notified you of a positive COVID-19 test

I have been notified that you have tested positive for COVID-19. If you have not already done so, you need to report your positive test result in the University's COVID-19 reporting platform at https://ttucovid19.ttu.edu/User/Consent. You should also notify your close contacts immediately, which can help mitigate the spread of the virus. Whether you are already fully vaccinated or unvaccinated you should self-isolate (see https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/quarantine.html). You will be excused for absences during the self-isolation period, and you and I can arrange how best for you to receive instruction and complete assignments in that time.

Template 2: Message to a class about a class member reporting a positive COVID-19 test

It has come to our attention that a member of our class [insert course Prefix/Number.Section] has tested positive for COVID-19. Everyone that was in class on [insert specific date and time] is strongly encouraged to wear a mask when indoors and in groups on campus for at least the next 10 days. You are also encouraged to monitor yourself for symptoms of COVID-19. Regardless of vaccination status, (including those with medical and religious exemptions) if you aren't experiencing symptoms, you do not need to quarantine and may continue to attend class. You should, however, wear a mask for at least the next 10 days. Quarantine and test if symptoms develop. Students who test positive for COVID-19 should notify close contacts immediately after receiving the diagnosis, which will help mitigate spread of the virus.

Office of the Provost