I’m going to guess that an over-zealous interpretation of HIPAA by our anti-transparency General Counsel Kevin Reed is behind this latest UO policy:
For reasons of privacy and protected health information, instructors will NOT be notified by Corona Corps when a student in their class has tested positive or has been identified as a close contact.
Here’s the full text of the latest email:
As we begin the third week of classes, thank you for a largely successful return to campus and start of fall classes. Your help in implementing our layered safety approach of vaccinations, masking and testing/contact tracing has helped us stay on track and we appreciate your efforts. It is important that we stay vigilant with our strategies, so we wanted to communicate a few reminders. We’ve had a few questions about how to handle cases or contacts in classes. Please review the COVID Containment Plan for Classes. In particular:
- Instructors should remind students to introduce themselves to their classroom neighbors at the start of each class as this greatly facilitates contact tracing, should it be needed in specific classes.
- Instructors should submit the Case and Contact Form (here) if a student informs them that they have tested positive for COVID-19, have been identified as a close contact, or if a student is symptomatic. This form helps to initiate the Corona Corps’ outreach to specific students.
- Instructors should NOT notify their entire classroom if they learn of a positive case or close contact in their class. Following a case investigation by the Corona Corps, all identified close contacts in a classroom will be notified, including instructors. If the determination is made that an all-class exposure notification is warranted, instructors will also be informed as part of this notification.
- For reasons of privacy and protected health information, instructors will NOT be notified by Corona Corps when a student in their class has tested positive or has been identified as a close contact. However, students are encouraged to notify their instructors of their health status following a positive COVID-19 test or when notified that they have been identified as a close contact.
- Vaccinated, asymptomatic students who have been identified as close contacts can continue to attend class. However, these students should be reminded to self-monitor daily and to be tested 3-5 days after exposure.
In addition, please:
- remind students to conduct daily symptom self-checks and not to come to class if they have symptoms,
- make students aware of how they can access course content and make up missed assignments,
- enforce the mask requirement in your classes, and
- remember to stay six feet away from others if you elect to teach without a mask.
Janet Woodruff-BordenExecutive Vice Provost