Updated Sept. 18, 2020

Procedures to be Followed

We understand that many teaching faculty members are concerned about what will happen if a student in one of their classes is diagnosed with Covid-19. The Institute’s procedures, key decision points, and communication process to handle such an event are outlined below. 

Before a case occurs

While faculty will not be directly involved in contact tracing, information about class attendance and seating may be used in contact tracing efforts if a student tests positive for Covid-19. To prepare for this possibility, please use assigned seating in all face-to-face class sessions. Record attendance in each class session, noting which students are physically present if some are attending remotely.

Due to privacy concerns, please do not take photos of the class to record attendance.

When a case occurs

When a student tests positive for Covid-19, the contact tracing (CT) team will interview that student to identify anyone who had close contact with them during the infectious period. The following process will then notify faculty.

  1. The CT team will notify the Office of the Dean of Students (ODOS) of the positive case using the student ID number.
  2. The Office of the Dean of Students will notify the instructors of all remote, hybrid, and residential courses the student is taking that the student has a medical condition and will be absent from class. Excuse the absence, make allowances for late work, and maintain their privacy. Do not assume the nature of the student’s illness or initiate contact tracing yourself. There may be situations when the student directly notifies the instructor that they have tested positive. This information should not be divulged to anyone else. See additional guidance below. 
  3. If the student is taking any in-person course sections, the CT team will contact those instructors to request any class attendance information that may be useful in contact tracing if that information is needed to identify close contacts.

Note: In some cases, you may hear from the student that they have tested positive before ODOS has a chance to make notification. If this happens, take the following actions while ODOS and the CT team work:

  1. If the student received the test from a non-Georgia Tech facility, advise them to notify Stamps of the positive result here: c.gatech.edu/covid19reporting.
  2. Do not recommend that any student(s) quarantine; this will be handled by the CT team.
  3. Notifying the entire class of a student's health information, even without naming the student, presents a possible violation of the student's privacy rights.

The classroom will be cleaned per Georgia Tech’s health and safety protocols.

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