Public health response to COVID-19 cases in academic spaces

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May 12, 2021

COVID-19 guidance and collaboration

The CSU Pandemic Preparedness Team has issued broad guidance for summer and fall 2021.

Public health classroom guidance

  • Faculty should reinforce compliance with public health measures in the classroom, laboratory and other academic spaces.
  • Masks are required indoors unless an accommodation has been approved. Guidance on masks for Fall will be updated by Aug. 1.
  • Physical distancing should be maintained according to Pandemic Team guidance.
  • Seating charts are required to assist with  contact tracing.
  • Students should be encouraged to use a disinfecting wipe to clean their desk and chair prior to each class. Hand sanitizer and wipe stations are provided in or near each classroom.

Public health classroom procedure for a single COVID case:

  • Students reporting symptoms or a positive test result through the COVID Reporter will automatically be flagged for outreach by the CSU Public Health team and instructed to isolate pending guidance.
  • If a faculty member is uncertain the student has reported the symptoms, faculty may report concerns through the COVID Reporter or, in an urgent situation, may call the CSU Public Health office at 970-491-4600.
  • CSU Public Health will conduct an assessment to determine if the individual has or likely has COVID. If so, Public Health will interview the ill person and contact trace to determine who may have had a close contact exposure to the infected person.
  • A close contact is defined as being less than 6 ft distance from an infected person for more than 15 minutes over a 24-hour period.
  • CSU Public Health will call close contacts and place them on quarantine, following Centers for Disease Control guidance.
  • Faculty may be asked to provide seating charts to assist with contact tracing.
  • CSU Public Health coordinates closely with Housing & Dining when students residing in University Housing are COVID positive or are close contacts. This includes moving students to isolation or quarantine to designated housing units.
  • CSU Public Health and Housing & Dining also coordinates with Student Case Management and CSU Health Network to provide support services for academics, emotional health, etc.
  • Faculty will receive notification of a positive case in their classroom but will not receive confidential health information related to the case.
  • Students are responsible for notifying faculty of their absences. If a faculty member wants to verify information received from a student, they can report their concern through the COVID Reporter or call Public Health at 970-491-4600.
  • In most cases, classrooms will not be closed for a single case and routine disinfection protocols will be followed.

Public health classroom procedure for an outbreak of two or more COVID cases:

  • The above public health measures will be followed for all COVID cases.
  • In addition, if there are two or more positive cases in a classroom, CSU Public Health will coordinate a response with Larimer County Public Health.
  • Please be aware that this may occur and the cases are unrelated, or it may occur because of activities outside of the classroom (such as transmission through small gatherings of friends in the same class). This is not necessarily an indication that the exposure occurred in the classroom or laboratory environment.
  • Based on an evaluation of the cases, the classroom may be briefly closed for disinfection.
  • Public Health will notify faculty of classroom closures.
  • Public Health will coordinate with Facilities Management to conduct high level disinfection.

Public Health classroom procedure for a cluster of five or more COVID cases:

  • CSU Public Health will coordinate with Larimer County Public Health for case management and response.
  • Classrooms will be briefly closed for disinfection.
  • CSU Public Health and Larimer County Public Health will determine the need to isolate or quarantine faculty and students.
  • Faculty may be directed to move the class online for a period, as determined by public health guidance.