COVID-RELATED TEACHING, ADVISING AND CLASSROOM POLICY FAQ
Below are frequently asked questions regarding COVID-19 related teaching, advising and classroom policies.
Are the COVID-related ADA procedures for requesting a waiver for face-to-face teaching still in effect?
Faculty may apply for ADA accommodations as they did prior to the pandemic. However, the special circumstances for COVID-related issues that formerly justified waivers in the Spring 2021 semester are not in effect at this time. Please refer to the ADA Office website for more information.
Is there any recourse for faculty or staff who are ineligible for the ADA waiver but feel that due to their health, age or family situation would rather not work face-to-face?
Please see the below links regarding leave options.
- Extended Leave of Absence Medical Leave Preliminary Request
- Extended Leave of Absence FMLA Preliminary Request
May instructors or academic advisors hold office hours remotely?
The University of Florida’s guidance on office hours anticipates that instructors “will designate a minimum of two hours of office time per week for each course” and that these not be restricted to by-appointment only. In general, office hours are to be held on campus during reasonable times of the day. However, faculty may designate specific times for virtual office hours through e-mail or telephone/video/chat room consultation. These options should be clearly spelled out in the course syllabus. It is suggested that instructors also provide additional office hours “by appointment” to accommodate students who may not be able to meet at the designated times.
Can instructors and academic advisors expect masks to be worn by students in their private office, for example during office hours?
Yes. Instructors and advisors may ask that masks be worn in office hours. If a student refuses, the instructor or advisor can end the meeting and offer the student an option of virtual office hours or holding the meeting in an alternative location.
Are instructors and academic advisors allowed to protect their personal space while in the classroom, specifically asking that students maintain a distance from the instructor?
Yes. If a student is not wearing a mask and approaches an instructor/advisor, the instructor/advisor can request that the student put a mask on and/or provide a zoom address to continue the conversation.
Are instructors and academic advisors allowed to advise students that they should stay home if they feel unwell?
Instructors/advisors can remind all students that they should stay home if they do not feel well. Any advice to an individual student who seems unwell must be given privately.
Are instructors allowed to advise students that are unmasked to leave the classroom?
No. Instructors can remind all students that they are expected to wear a mask in the classroom. If a student refuses, they cannot be told to leave or to move to a different location in the classroom.
Are masks currently required in UF buildings?
While masks are not required, all people inside of UF buildings are expected to wear masks, regardless of vaccination status.
Are instructors allowed to require students to wear masks in the classroom?
Instructors may ask their students to wear a mask, but they may not require nor ask a student to leave or move to a different location in the classroom.
What accommodations must be provided to students who miss class due to illness or being withheld from campus?
Students who must miss class due to quarantine will be treated as though they are absent from class because of any other illness. The instructor and student should think of it as such and arrange for the student to make up classwork.
Will instructors be informed if a student in their class is withheld from campus?
Instructors are not directly notified if a student is withheld from campus. Instructors may review through their course rosters on Canvas if a student has been withheld from campus by UF Health Screen, Test & Protect due to COVID-19 exposure, symptoms or a positive test result
If a student is not cleared from campus what should the instructor do if the student shows up to class?
The instructor may ask the student to leave the room.
What can/should instructors do if a student becomes antagonistic after we ask them to please wear a mask?
Instructors can remind all students that they are expected to wear a mask in the classroom. If a student refuses, they cannot be told to leave or to move to a different location in the classroom. In an instance where a student becomes disruptive to classroom operations, please report inappropriate behavior via the COVID-19 Behavioral Report Form available at: https://cm.maxient.com/reportingform.php?UnivofFlorida&layout_id=18.
Is proof of vaccination required to be cleared for campus?
No. However, free vaccinations are available to anyone 12 and older. To schedule a vaccine appointment, or COVID-19 test, log in to your ONE.UF account.
I was recently withheld from campus; can I teach remotely?
Yes, provided that you are not sick, your chair/director approves and the total number of days you teach remotely is 14 or fewer consecutive days (not business days). If you are sick, you must take sick leave and inform your chair, who will find alternative means to provide instruction. All chairs/directors will receive an email from UF Health Screen, Test & Protect (STP) if a faculty member is withheld from campus by STP.
I need to stay home to care for my underage child (i.e., under 18-years old) who has been withheld from school. Can I teach remotely?
Yes, provided that the total time is 14 or fewer consecutive days (not business days) and your chair/director approves. Otherwise, you must take sick leave and inform your chair, who will find alternative means to provide instruction. If a child is withheld from school for more than 14 contiguous days, you must submit an AWL request to continue teaching remotely.
I am currently sick but not withheld from campus. Can I teach remotely?
No. Illness requires you to take sick leave, and teaching is not allowed (face-to-face or remotely) while on sick leave. However, in some circumstances of temporary disability (e.g., a broken leg), an ADA accommodation can be requested and may be granted to allow remote instruction.