Absences Related to Covid-19
Please review the Provost’s message on in-person instruction and contact tracing for answers to common questions about Covid-19 contact tracing, attending classes, and how students will be notified if they are a close contact.
Any student asked or required to quarantine or isolate due to Covid-19 is eligible for a University Approved Absence for any classes missed. If you have been diagnosed with Covid-19 and/or instructed to isolate or quarantine by a medical professional, and this inhibits your ability to attend classes in-person or complete coursework, you can submit a request to the University Approved Absence Office (UAAO) for University Approved Absences (UAA).
It is your choice to request UAAs and not every student in isolation or quarantine may want or need them (for example, if you feel well enough to attend classes remotely, or if a faculty member is working with you directly to excuse your absence without notification from the UAAO).
On occasion, students may be asked by Campus Health to limit their activities instead of being told to quarantine or isolate. This does not require a University Approved Absence and faculty should be working with these students on an individual basis.
Please note that UAA’s apply only to class absences, not to your employment. Make sure you reach out to your work supervisor to let them know you will be unable to work. If you are a part-time, full-time, or temporary employee of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, you can contact the University Employee Occupational Health Clinic.
Automated UAAs from Campus Health due to Covid-19 Quarantine and Isolation
Due to a high volume of requests, the University Approved Absence Office (UAAO) has streamlined the process for University Approved Absences (UAA) for students directed by a medical provider to strictly isolate or quarantine due to COVID-19.
Starting the week of Sept. 13, students who are medically directed to isolate (test positive for Covid-19) or quarantine by Campus Health will automatically receive a PDF of your UAA, which you will then be responsible for forwarding to your faculty. This is only applicable for those students who have worked with Campus Health in relation to your required isolation and/or quarantine.
If you take a COVID-19 test at an off-campus provider (i.e. Walgreens, CVS, family doctor, in your own home) and are medically ordered to strictly isolate (i.e. positive COVID-19 test) by health practitioners, you must communicate with Campus Health about your positive diagnosis by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org in order to be included in the above-outlined process.
Students are bound by the Honor Code to not alter the UAAs and send them only as appropriate.
Note that the approved absence process remains unchanged if you have an absence for any other reason provided for in the Class Attendance Policy. Just as a reminder, the UAA process is not applicable for absences related to undiagnosed COVID-19 symptoms or other minor illnesses. In those cases, you should first work with your faculty member whenever possible. In all cases, we are asking our faculty to show flexibility with students as you navigate the complications this semester may bring.
Documentation Requirements for Non-Campus Health Covid-19 Isolation and Quarantine
If you were seen by an off-campus provider (a non-Campus Health provider), we ask that you contact Campus Health to let them know of your medically ordered isolation (tested positive for Covid-19) and submit supporting documentation from your off-campus provider with your request for UAAs.
If you are ordered to quarantine (i.e. determined to be a close contact and are unvaccinated), please provide documentation from you off-campus provider stating that you must quarantine for a period of time.
In order for Covid-19 related absences to be evaluated, you must have been seen by a medical professional and been medically directed to isolate or quarantine. Requests for absences that do not have supporting medical documentation (either from an off-campus provider or from Campus Health) will be denied. The UAAO does not approve of absences without supporting documentation or verification through Campus Health. If you do not qualify for a Covid-19 related UAA (i.e. you did not get evaluated by a medical professional and/or were not told to quarantine or isolate by a medical professional) you will need to discuss your absence from class directly with your instructor.
Routine testing does not qualify for a University Approved Absence. If you miss class due to testing and were not directed to medically quarantine or isolate by a medical professional (i.e., you test negative for Covid-19 and have a virus/cold/other illness), you will need to work directly with your faculty members on your absence.
The COVID-19 Community Standards symptom list (see below) should be monitored daily.
Students should use the Campus Health screening tool to assess their status every day. Campus Health can be reached through the Healthy Heels Patient Portal or by calling 919-966-2281. Campus Health provides symptomatic COVID-19 testing for students, graduate and professional students and post-doctoral fellows.
Undergraduate students who are on-campus, attending in-person classes or coming to campus must monitor your symptoms daily. If you answer yes to any of these symptoms, immediately contact Campus Health.
Graduate, professional and post-doctoral students are expected to monitor your symptoms daily. If you answer yes to any of these symptoms, immediately contact Campus Health.
COVID-19 Community Standards symptom list:
• Have you had recent close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19?
• Do you have new muscle aches not related to another medical condition or another specific activity (e.g., due to physical exercise)?
• Do you feel like you may have a temperature of greater than 100.0°F?
• Do you have sore throat, runny nose and/or congestion not related to another medical condition (e.g., allergies)?
• Do you have a new or worsening cough that is not related to another medical condition?
• Do you have shortness of breath that is not attributable to another medical condition?
• Do you have recent (<5 days) loss of smell and/or taste?
• Do you have new onset of vomiting or diarrhea not related to another medical condition?
If you answer yes to any of the questions above, do not attend class, work or other in-person campus activities and contact your medical provider.
Students can access Campus Health at 919-966-2281 or via the Healthy Heels Patient Portal.
Throughout the semester the UAAO experiences a high volume of requests. While our priority is to send absences to your faculty as quickly as possible, it may take up to 10 business days for you and your faculty to be notified. In the meantime, you are strongly encouraged to communicate with your instructors that you will be unable to attend class for the time period specified by your medical provider.
So long as students get their absence request submitted to the UAAO in a timely fashion (within 5 business days after the last date of absence and have documentation delivered within 10 days if not attached to request), if a request is approved, faculty will be required to work with the student as noted under the Class Attendance Policy.
Fall 2020 faculty guide to supporting student needs for flexibility, adjustments, and/or accommodations.