COVID-19 FAQs for Faculty

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There are a lot of changes to our campus teaching guidelines due to COVID-19. Here are answers to some of your frequently asked questions. 

  See the faculty COVID-19 resources.

Updated: Jan. 27, 2021

Who decides if a class can be held in-person, remotely, or both (hybrid model)?  

In the case of Graduate Studies courses, this decision is at the discretion of the instructor, with the stipulation that the course can be held in-person only if class meetings are held in a space with an official current social distancing capacity that is sufficiently large to allow proper social distancing.

Updated: Aug. 21, 2020

What should I do if someone tells me they may have COVID-19?  

UNMC has created a COVID-19 Checklist that outlines what to do if:

  • If a faculty member, staff, or student tells you they have been exposed to someone with a laboratory-confirmed case
  • If a faculty member, staff or student tells you they have symptoms of COVID-19
  • A faculty member, staff, or student tells you they have a laboratory-confirmed case of COVID-19

Updated: Jan. 27, 2021

Can I require that a student be tested for COVID-19 or receive the vaccine prior to working in my lab?  

No, faculty cannot request or require a student to be tested for COVID-19 nor to receive the vaccine prior to starting a research rotation in the lab. UNMC has very clear screening guidelines that include use of the 1-Check UNMC App. Students should consult with Student Health or their health care provider in deciding whether or not they should be tested for COVID-19.

For questions regarding the vaccine, visit the UNMC COVID-19 vaccine website.

Updated: Jan. 27, 2021

Are outdoor gatherings for students allowed on campus?  

We want to provide our students with many opportunities to connect with each other. Unfortunately, in-person gatherings pose a safety risk, particularly if there are food and beverages involved. We encourage students to contact the Graduate Student Association (GSA) to see how they can connect online with fellow graduate students. Or search for online student events on ENGAGE or the UNMC calendar.

Updated: Aug. 21, 2020

Who is responsible for cleaning/disinfecting the classrooms before and after class?  

While EVS has redoubled their efforts to thoroughly clean classrooms (and other spaces) frequently, they do not have sufficient manpower to clean each classroom between each class period. Instructors and other leaders must assume responsibility for such cleaning, either by accomplishing it themselves or by designating a responsible student or assistant. View a list of disinfectant cleaning station locations.

Contact Environmental Services (402-559-4073) if your area needs more cleaning stations or if cleaning supplies need to be refilled. 

Updated: Aug. 21, 2020

Are classrooms stocked with the disinfectant solution and cloths?  

More than 200 disinfectant cleaning stations have been set up on campus – many are in classrooms. View a list of disinfectant cleaning station locations. Contact Environmental Services (402-559-4073) if your area needs more cleaning stations or if cleaning supplies need to be refilled.

Updated: Aug. 21, 2020

Does the disinfectant emit fumes that may be harmful? Do we have to take precautions?  

Refer to the instructional materials provided at each disinfectant cleaning station for information about any precautions that must be taken when using the disinfectant solution.

Updated: Aug. 21, 2020

How do I ensure that students sit at least 6 feet apart in the classroom?  

For each classroom on campus, and for conference rooms that are often used for smaller classes, desk areas and chairs that should not be occupied have been “taped-off.”

Updated: Aug. 21, 2020

If there is social distancing in the classroom, are masks still required?  

All students must wear masks that cover the mouth and nose at all times in the classroom. Faculty are permitted to wear a face shield during instruction in lieu of a mask as long as they follow 6 feet social distancing guidance. We discourage lecturers from using a face shield together with a mask because the combination severely muffles the lecturer’s voice. As soon as you are done lecturing, you should resume wearing a mask.

Updated: Aug. 21, 2020

Can (or should) lecturers wear a face shield instead of a mask in the classroom?  

Faculty are permitted to wear a face shield during instruction in lieu of a mask as long as they follow 6 feet social distancing guidance. We discourage lecturers from using a face shield together with a mask because the combination severely muffles the lecturer’s voice. As soon as you are done lecturing, you should resume wearing a mask. Face shields can be procured by department administrators through the same procedure used to obtain face masks and hand sanitizer.

Updated: Aug. 21, 2020

How/where can I get face shields?  

Face shields can be procured by department administrators through the same procedure used to obtain face masks and hand sanitizer.

Updated: Aug. 21, 2020

If the class meets in-person, do I have to provide live zoom (+/- recording) or Echo recording?  

This is not mandatory; however, instructors must be prepared to utilize these modalities if circumstances (on campus or with individual students) limit student ability to attend in-person.

Updated: Aug. 21, 2020

Do the conference rooms in DRC1 and DRC2 have full Zoom capability (including equipment)?  

IT has invested more than $1 million to provide Zoom capability (including microphones and cameras) in classrooms available in the Room Scheduling System and has already upgraded or scheduled conference rooms in DRC1 and DRC2 to be updated; however, the supply chain has limited availability of some components in high demand (e.g., cameras). Contact Room Scheduling to verify the necessary technology is available in the desired location upon scheduling.

Updated: Jan. 27, 2021

Are undergraduate trainees allowed back in research labs?  

At this time, we are asking only UNMC faculty, staff, and students to be on campus. For their safety, undergraduate trainees should not be conducting research in the lab.

Updated: Aug. 21, 2020

Can instructors require that students utilize both audio and video connections for live Zoom classes?  

Use of both audio and video Zoom capabilities by students during live Zoom classes is encouraged, especially for small groups of students; however, instructors should be cognizant of the fact that some students will have limited technology access or privacy concerns (such as worries to visually show their home life situation on camera). Instructors should strive to be approachable and pro-active in discussing such concerns with the student privately, and dealing with things on a case-by-case basis.

Updated: Aug. 21, 2020

Where can I get help with integrating technology into my courses?  

The Keep Teaching resource has been assembled by the UNMC IT Academic Technologies team to assist faculty with strategies for integrating technology in an asynchronous, synchronous, and hybrid modality. They've also created the IMPACT (Instruction, Methodology, Pedagogy, Academic, Curriculum and Technology) professional development program, which is designed to help you expand your technical skills. 

In addition to the online resource, the IT Academic Technologies team can provide one-on-one support. For more information, email the IT Academic Technologies team at academictechnologies@unmc.edu.

Updated: Aug. 21, 2020

Are there any existing e-learning modules I can use to help supplement my courses?  

Yes, the E-Gallery is an online library of hundreds of UNMC e-modules that is available to all UNMC faculty, staff and students. The modules can be accessed anytime and anywhere. There are a wide range of topics, including in the categories of anatomy, biochemistry, immunology, microbiology, pathology, physiology, public health and more. New modules are added every year.

If you have any questions about the E-Gallery or want to learn how you can create supplemental or remote learning modules for your courses, email UNMC Interactive E-Learning.

Updated: Aug. 21, 2020