Faculty/Staff FAQs

General Information

Under the CDC updated guidelines, anyone who tests positive should:

  • Isolate regardless of vaccination status. No exemption.
  • Isolate for at least five days from the onset of symptoms. Isolation may end if they are consistently asymptomatic (that is, fever-free for at least 24 hours without using a fever-reducing agent, and all other symptoms have improved) by Day 5. If so, they should continue to wear a mask around others for five (5) additional days after isolation.
  • Continue to isolate if they have significant symptoms by Day 5. Isolation may be extended up to ten days based on symptoms. A contact tracer will review symptoms before releasing from isolation. 

Regarding Exposure: Quarantine guidelines depend on vaccination status for those exposed to COVID-19.

  • Anyone who has had their primary series plus booster dose or those who are recently vaccinated (that is, the second dose of mRNA vaccine within the last six months or J&J vaccine within the previous two months) do not need to quarantine. These individuals should wear a well-fitted mask when around others for ten days after exposure. 
  • Unvaccinated individuals, those who have not received a booster dose (those who have received their mRNA vaccine over six months ago or received their J&J vaccine over two months ago), or have only received partial vaccination (one dose of mRNA vaccine) should quarantine for five (5) days from the day they were exposed. If they develop symptoms while in quarantine, they should get tested and follow the isolation protocol if positive. If they remain without symptoms while in quarantine, they may terminate quarantine after Day 5 and follow up with strict mask-wearing when around others for an additional five days. Students and faculty who have been exposed may attend classes after Day 5 as long as they wear a well-fitted mask through Day 10.

Regarding Testing: The CDC supports testing on Day 5 for individuals exposed to COVID+ case or anyone in quarantine. JSU Student Health Center will provide Day 5 testing to all exposed regardless of vaccination status in compliance with CDC recommendation. 

Regarding the use of monoclonal antibodies therapy (mAb) or individuals diagnosed with Covid+Flu:

  • Individuals diagnosed with Covid+Flu combo or receiving mAb therapy may fall outside the 5-10 day isolation period. Please ask them to seek guidance from their healthcare provider on when to return to school or work. If able, they should report their symptoms to the contact tracer daily. 

The isolation guidelines described here do not apply to individuals with severe COVID, hospitalized, or those who are immune-compromised. Advise these individuals to seek guidance from their HCPs.

Vaccination continues to protect against severe illness and lower the risk of hospitalization. Therefore, continue to encourage vaccinations, including the booster dose. According to the CDC (December 27, 2021), a booster dose increases vaccine effectiveness against the new variant by 40% (from 35% to 75%). 

As the CDC provides updates, JSU will revise accordingly. Thank you.

CDC Media Statement 

JSU has made a significant investment in disinfectants, hand sanitizer, and devices which disinfect large spaces quickly and effectively. Cleaning supplies will be made available outside classrooms for disinfecting. Offices should continue to order PPE through Capital Planning and Facilities

Effective November 29, 2021, masks are to be worn in the classroom at the discretion of the responsible faculty or staff member, at all times within the RMC/JSU Health Center, on campus-sanctioned transportation, and when preparing/serving food.

Quarantine is the term used to refer to what individuals should do if they have been exposed to someone testing positive for COVID-19. Isolation is the term used to refer to what individuals should do who test positive. 

  • If you are an employee and asked to isolate or quarantine due to COVID-19, you will be required to take accumulated leave, in the following order: comp leave, sick leave, and annual leave. If you do not have enough leave time available, please contact HR. 
  • If your situation requires that you request to work remotely, you must seek approval through your supervisor and division's VP, with the final decision made by the university president.
    • To formally request to work remotely you will need to fill out the Remote Work Request Form, which is accessible inside MyJSU. The link to the form is located in the Employee area, under the Human Resources section, below the Additional HR Forms heading.
  • Each request will be considered carefully on a case-by-case basis.

Managing Students In the Classroom

Students who think they have COVID-19 should go to the Student Health Center for testing. The testing is free. Students will have results in 15-minutes; however, this does not mean the entire visit will only be 15 minutes. Students should be prepared for long waits during certain peak times. The Student Health Center is located at the JSU South Complex (1701 Pelham Rd South).

Please do not ask students who seem unwell to leave class. As faculty, we should approach this with empathy, talking to a student after class--or outside of the classroom--in private, as we would do during normal times if we suspected that a student is unwell or bothered by something. We can ask how the student is doing and mention counseling or the student health center, and we should follow that same practice now. 

Faculty should be as accommodating as possible in helping the student to continue to participate in the class when absent to protect others. 

Please ask a student, if they have not already done so, to complete the Self-Reporting Form. The JSU Epi Team (contact tracing) will then be notified to begin contact tracing interviews and assist in connecting students to campus support and protocols. The JSU Epi Team will also tell the student to contact their instructors to let them know their release date for returning to class. No action is required on the part of the faculty member, except of course to be as accommodating as possible in helping the student to continue to participate in the class during the isolation period. 

For privacy reasons, the instructor should not announce to the class that a student in the class has tested positive, even anonymously. The contact tracer will notify instructors if there is any cause for concern and if attendance rosters are needed for contact tracing purposes. 

It is never the faculty member’s responsibility to inform students of possible exposures. It is also not the faculty member’s responsibility to report positive student test results via the self-report form; students should be directed to the form if necessary. (adapted from Univ. of Alabama) 

If students or faculty have additional questions concerning this process, they should email covidquestions@jsu.edu with the questions or concerns.

Regardless of vaccination status, please encourage them to email covidquestions@jsu.edu their exposure information, so we can conduct an interview and determine quarantine time. It is the student’s responsibility to let you know they are entering quarantine and to arrange to make up any missed assignments.

No, the JSU Epi Team does not currently have the resources to provide written excuses for students who have been directed to isolate or quarantine. When students tell you that they’ve been directed into quarantine/isolation, please take their word for it and permit them to participate in the class remotely during this period. 

Students are not required to test negative for COVID prior to being authorized to return to class. The current CDC guidelines recommend a time-based and symptom-based isolation period rather than a test-based process for returning to normal activities. When a student returns to class from isolation, they will have received authorization from their appointed contact tracer to do so.

The university is following CDC guidelines regarding when the student can return to campus for in-person classes and activities. Students should not return to class/campus until these criteria are met. Current guidance states that anyone who  tests positive should:

  • Isolate regardless of vaccination status. No exemption.
  • Isolate for at least five days from the onset of symptoms. Isolation may end if they are consistently asymptomatic (that is, fever-free for at least 24 hours without using a fever-reducing agent, and all other symptoms have improved) by Day 5. If so, they should continue to wear a mask around others for five (5) additional days after isolation.
  • Continue to isolate if they have significant symptoms by Day 5. Isolation may be extended up to ten days based on symptoms. A contact tracer will review symptoms before releasing from isolation.

The following list provides direction for faculty and staff and should serve as guide for interacting with students and visitors who are not complying with JSU policies regarding safety and health.

If a Student Attends Class Without a Mask:

Step 1) Offer mask

If the mask is refused,

Step 2) Explain the need for everyone in this learning community to protect each other; cite the JSU policy and policy on the syllabus; explain that everyone must be wearing masks for us to have class; might mention that the student may express concerns to upper administration, but class is not the place for it.

If the student refuses to comply,

Step 3) Explain the consequences of non-compliance—the Director of Community Standards and Student Ethics will follow up on the incident and sanction accordingly, which could include fines, educational sanctions, disciplinary probation, housing probation, housing suspension without a refund and/or University suspension.

If the student refuses to comply,

Step 4) Ask student to leave the building immediately, as the student poses a health risk to everyone in the building. The student may be administratively dropped from the course and added to an all-online schedule, if available.

If the student refuses to comply,

Step 5) Cancel class and report incident to dean’s office.

If the student refuses to leave, phone JSU PD.

*If the student attempts to attend class again without a mask, phone JSU PD immediately.

Guidance for Faculty

If you are showing symptoms associated with COVID-19 (e.g., fever, cough, shortness of breath), please visit the Student Health Center immediately for a test. If you are not feeling well, you should not teach in a classroom on campus. Please be sure to contact students in a timely manner to cancel any in-person classes. If you are uncertain as to whether or not you should use sick leave, please contact your supervisor or the Department of Human Resources. If you are exposed or test positive, please adhere to our campus protocols (see COVID-19 Positive Results and Exposure under the General Information section of this FAQ page).  If you are waiting for a test result on COVID-19, please stay away from campus, self-isolate, until you receive your official results. (adapted from University of Wyoming) 

Faculty are encouraged to communicate with students about how they can be reached and should be flexible in what tools they use to connect with students. (from University of Northeastern Illinois)

For help with Canvas or Teams during normal business hours, faculty may contact Online@JSU by sending an email to online@jsu.edu with complete details.  Additional resources, including 24/7 and self-help options, are described on the Online@JSU Help web page.

All faculty teaching in Spring 2022 should develop a course continuity plan, in consultation with their department chair, to be activated in the event the instructor is unable to teach due to illness or exposure. Course continuity plans might include pre-recorded lectures, Box directories containing notes and course materials for prospective substitute instructors, etc. Faculty who become ill or are exposed to COVID-19 should contact their department chairs immediately to discuss course continuity.

Travel requests from all faculty and staff are being evaluated on an individual basis.