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Professors do not need to prepare online teaching for students who miss class due to COVID-19, per Friday email

Professors do not need to prepare online teaching for students who miss class due to a COVID-19 diagnosis, according to a Friday email sent to Trinity College of Arts & Sciences faculty and staff from the Office of the Dean of Trinity.

Trinity students who are sick or isolating should complete a short-term incapacitation form “and make up work for the class as they did prior to the pandemic,” the email reads.

A short-term incapacitation form indicates that a student has missed class and cannot complete an assignment on time due to an incapacitating health issue. It is “only a notification,” according to the Trinity Academic Policies website

After submitting an Incapacitation Form, students must meet or communicate with the instructor within 48 hours “to discuss your missed work and how it will be treated in accordance with the instructor’s policy.” 

If a student does not contact their instructor within 48 hours, the instructor “is under no obligation to accommodate your health issue and can treat your missed work as unexcused,” the website reads. 

Academic deans may provide exceptions to the 48-hour deadline in extraordinary circumstances. 

According to the Duke Flexible Teaching FAQs, which was last updated on Aug. 20, instructors were not expected to provide an online option for their classes. 

“We would ask—just as we do in a non-pandemic time—that you try your best to accommodate the needs of students who may be unwell and unable to attend class,” the website reads. “This does not mean that you must provide an online option, as alternative solutions may exist.” 

The email also noted that the Office “received numerous questions” from faculty about testing protocols and data, campus safety measures and vaccination reporting. 

As of Monday afternoon, Duke reported 111 active cases. From Aug. 16 to 22, there were 113 positive COVID-19 tests—95 among students and 18 among faculty and staff. 

In May 2021, Duke stopped releasing information about the number of individuals in isolation and/or quarantine. As of Monday, Duke had no plans to modify the dashboard to include those numbers. 

All students are required to be fully vaccinated to participate in on-campus activities for the fall semester unless they have an approved medical or religious exemption. Faculty and staff must show proof of vaccination or an exemption by Sept. 1. According to the email, at least 91% of faculty and staff are vaccinated. 


Milla Surjadi | University News Editor

Milla Surjadi is a Trinity sophomore and a university news editor of The Chronicle's 117th volume.

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