As a faculty member, if I have potential symptoms for COVID-19, what should I be telling my students while I am awaiting testing? What should I tell my students if I am diagnosed?
Faculty and staff have the same rights to privacy of their health information as everyone else (see AD22 and AD53). Employees, including faculty, do not have an obligation to share their protected health information or testing status with students.
If you have symptoms of COVID-19 or have tested positive or have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive, you should leave work if you are at work, notify your academic administrator (department head/school director/CAO/DAA), contact Occupational Medicine at 814-863-8492, and contact your personal health care provider. Do not hold classes or meet with students in-person if you have symptoms or have been told to quarantine or isolate. You may hold your class remotely as you are able. If you are ill and not able to have class, work with your academic administrator to plan an alternative. You do not need to share the reason why you are ill with your academic administrator. Some colleges/campuses have class cancellation policies that will need to be followed.
You do not need to share with your class that you are absent due to a COVID diagnosis or symptoms or that you are in quarantine or isolation. If you test positive for COVID-19, then contact tracers will work with you to identify your close contacts. Generally speaking, in traditional classroom settings with proper masking and physical distancing, instructors and students will not be considered close contacts of each other.