TO: College Deans, Associate Deans for Academic Affairs and Academic Department Heads
FROM: Warwick A. Arden, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost
SUBJECT: Important Classroom Reminders for Fall Semester
DATE: August 24, 2021
After completing the first week of classes, I am hearing from many of our faculty, students and staff who are happy to see and interact with each other in-person again. Indeed, nearly 88% of the 4,907 course sections being taught this semester are being delivered in face-to-face format. I also know, as does the Chancellor, that this can be a stressful and anxious time as we navigate changes in the COVID-19 pandemic. We, along with our Emergency Management and Health Services teams, are doing all we can to make our interactions as a community as safe as possible. Vaccination is our best defense against the virus, and we continue to encourage every member of the NC State community to get vaccinated.
We are requiring face coverings for most indoor spaces, including instructional and research spaces. Vaccinations combined with wearing face coverings dramatically reduces the chance of contracting COVID-19, even if you come into contact with someone who is carrying the virus. In addition to these measures, we have mandated weekly surveillance testing for all students, faculty and staff on campus who have not provided proof of vaccination, and our colleagues in Student Health are working extremely hard to verify vaccination records and continue our robust contract tracing and isolation/quarantine programs. The Chancellor and I appreciate all you are doing to continue to uphold the university’s community standards and safety measures.
Several questions and concerns have arisen as we’ve gotten started with the semester, particularly with respect to testing, notification, contact tracing and isolation/quarantine in the context of delivery of instruction. I’ve worked with Dr. Julie Casani, Director and Medical Director of Student Health Services, and Dr. Amy Orders, Director of Emergency Management and Mission Continuity, to develop the attached instructors FAQ list. Much of this information is available on our Protect the Pack website in existing FAQ lists, but we are repeating the especially relevant questions and answers here as well as adding some specific information for instructors. Key points in the instructor FAQ list include details about contact tracing and quarantine/isolation for those who test positive, as well as recommendations for managing classrooms in the wake of a positive test or a notification about a possible exposure.
I strongly encourage you to share the attached FAQs with all instructors teaching face-to-face courses this semester.
Find a PDF version of this memo here.