Institutes of Higher Education
Stay informed about local COVID-19 developments.
Review and update your emergency operations plan. Focus on components that address infectious disease outbreaks.
- Work with your local health department, the university system, and other relevant partners.
Encourage students, staff, and faculty to promote everyday preventive health behaviors on your campus:
- Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue. If you don’t have a tissue, cough and sneeze into the inside of your elbow, not your hands.
- Stay home when sick.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces following CDC guidance for cleaning and disinfection
- Wash hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Monitor and plan for absenteeism.
- Make accommodations for students if they become sick (e.g., extended due dates, electronic submission of assignments).
- Alert local health officials about large increases in student, staff, and faculty absenteeism or substantial increases in student health center traffic due to respiratory illnesses.
Establish procedures for students, staff, and faculty who are sick on campus.
- Students, staff, and faculty who become or are sick should be sent to their place of residence as soon as possible.
- In communities without COVID-19 cases, sick residents of on-campus housing should avoid contact with people who are healthy.
Develop a system for sharing information with partners.
- Work with local health officials to determine if patterns exist with absenteeism or if you see more students going to the student health center for respiratory illness.
If there is a case of COVID-19 in the community:
Work with local health officials to determine if your institution needs to suspend classes or postpone events.
If a student or staff member on campus has a case of COVID-19:
Work with local health officials to determine if, when, and for how long your institution needs to suspend classes or postpone events.
Communicate about the COVID-19 case, but maintain the confidentiality of the student or staff member.
Local health officials may recommend temporary class suspension. If classes are suspended:
- Cancel extracurricular activities.
- Discourage student, staff, and faculty gatherings.
- Ensure continuity of education, research, and services.
- Implement your continuity plan for staffing, e-learning and distance learning options, safe housing, meal programs, and medical and social services.
- Counter stigma and promote resilience by sharing trusted information and encouraging the use of campus mental health services.
- Work with local health officials to assess when students and staff can return to campus.