Guidelines to Help Instructors Respond to Students Who Become Ill

The Academic Senate and UC Berkeley's Administration have developed the following guidelines to help instructors respond to students who become ill.

  • Announce to students that they should not come to class if they become ill. The University has adopted the CDC recommendation that members of the campus community who develop flu-like illness should self-isolate until at least 24 hours after they are free of fever or signs of fever without the use of medication. Let your students know that they should follow this recommendation in deciding whether or not to come to class.

  • Use flexibility and good judgment in excusing student absences and waive requirements for written excuses from medical personnel. Many healthy people with influenza experience a mild to moderate illness and recover without the need to seek medical attention but still need to be isolated until the fever is resolved. Therefore, instructors are asked to waive any requirement for written excuses in their courses. This action will assist in boosting University Health Service’s capacity to treat students that actually need medical evaluation and treatment.

  • Be prepared to offer accommodation to students who must miss exams or assignment deadlines due to illness. Have a plan for handling requests to make up work that maintains fairness and equity. Recognize that in some instances work or exams may simply need to be excused or an alternative assignment substituted. Consider how you might use educational technologies to allow students to work from home once they are feeling better but are still self-isolating.

male student coughing in library