What To Expect If One Of Your Students Tests Positive for COVID-19

As we prepare for fall quarter during a pandemic, we want to provide overall guidance on what faculty can expect should one on their students test positive or be presumed positive for COVID-19. 

Student Guidance

  • Students who test positive or are presumed positive for COVID-19 will be required to isolate.
  • Students who have had close contact with a confirmed case will be required to quarantine.
  • The results of the symptomatic and surveillance testing and the number of persons in isolation and quarantine will be reported on the COVID-19 dashboard, which will be updated daily.
  • During isolation or quarantine, students may be able to attend classes remotely, but others may not be capable of participating remotely should they have symptoms.

Contact Tracing & Classes

  • After a case of infection is confirmed and the individual is isolated, contact tracing begins.
  • Because classrooms are socially distanced, and instructors and students are required to wear face coverings, instructors and classmates are not automatically considered close contacts.  If everyone in a class has been wearing face coverings and staying physically distanced there will be minimal risk of COVID transmission. The COVID Response Team (CRT) will determine whether there is a reason to test others in the class, isolate anyone, or quarantine anyone.
  • Persons who have been in close contact with anyone testing positive for COVID-19 will be individually notified by a DU employee as a function of contact tracing. Those individuals will be advised to quarantine and monitor their symptoms and their access to campus will be restricted.

Contact Tracing & Faculty & Student Notification

  • Everyone in a F2F class where someone was present in person in the 10 days prior to a positive test result will be given a courtesy notification by the CRT.
  • The CRT will work with a student to notify faculty members regarding their return date and their need to participate remotely.
  • This notification will include specific dates that the student may not attend class in person. It is important to note that this notification does not necessarily mean a student has tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19.
  • Faculty members are expected to keep this information confidential and may not share this with the class.

Temporary Remote Teaching & Classroom Closure

  • Instructors and students will be notified as soon as possible if the room in which their class meets is closed and therefore they are required to move online for up to 25 hours during cleaning and disinfection.
  • Longer term online moves would only be authorized in consultation with academic leadership and the COVID response team. Otherwise continue in your scheduled modality as you receive notification that you have been cleared to return to your classroom
  • Faculty should plan for these situations in advance by having a back-up plan to move an individual class session online.

Students Return To Class

  • A notification will be sent to the student to indicate when the student is permitted to return to campus. A student is not allowed to return to class before the permitted date,and their ID will not be reactivated until the permitted date has occurred.
  • Instructors should support students in quarantine or isolation to continue making progress in the course as they are able, through either remote synchronous or asynchronous participation.


What do I do if a student emails you or tells you they have COVID-19?

  • Instruct your student to report via email at reportCOVID@du.edu or by calling or texting the DU COVID Line at 303-871-COVD (2683).
  • The faculty member must report the student at reportCOVID@du.edu or by calling or texting the DU COVID Line at 303-871-COVD (2683).
  • Advise the student to not return to class until given instructions by the CRT.
  • Encourage the student to communicate with you on their absences
  • Be sure the student knows your academic expectations so they can continue to learn remotely until they are cleared to come back to campus.

What if a student informs me that they must be in quarantine for 14 days due to exposure?

  • Accommodate the student to participate remotely.
  • The student must have a clearance from the CRT to return to class.
  • Give the student options for alternative attendance such as attending class synchronously or doing work through Canvas.

What if a student wants to know the name of the student who tested positive?

  • Disclosing a student’s name is a FERPA violation, therefore you are not permitted to announce the student’s name. If a student is concerned that they were exposed, direct them to Chris Short: 303-871-7501 / Christopher.Short@du.edu.

What if a student tells me they tested positive for Coronavirus and needs accommodations?  

  • Refer the student to Disability Services to register for temporary accommodations: 303-871-3241 dsp@du.edu
  • Disability Services will send faculty a letter to notify instructors of approved accommodations.

What do I do if I test positive for COVID-19? How should I tell my class?

  • There is no expectation that you disclose personal health information to your class. If you test positive, contact reportCOVID@du.edu, or by phone or text to 303-871-COVD (2683) Please notify your class that you will need to move the class remotely if you are required to isolate or quarantine. If you are ill and unable to teach, please work with your chair to activate your backup instructor.
  • Students will only need to know how to proceed in your absence.
  • You must be cleared by the CRT before returning to campus.

The campus COVID-19 leadership team will monitor ongoing COVID-19 related infections and transmissions at the campus, local, and state levels and adjust campus activities accordingly. Although there are no industry standards or regulations about conditions that trigger an evacuation of a building, a campus facility, or the campus as a whole, the university will continue to monitor the level of risk and take reasonable precautions as needed to protect students, faculty, and staff.