Support for Spring Courses


Classroom Air Quality

  • HVAC systems in all 780 classrooms on the UMN Twin Cities campus have been tested
  • All classrooms meet CDC, OSHA, and ASHRAE guidelines.
  • FM is responsible for changing filters and maintaining units that serve classroom spaces. 



SPH mask distribution:

  • All SPH instructors with spring 2022 in-person teaching responsibilities will receive a package of N95 masks for themselves. Instructors should contact their division administrator for information about when and where to pick up their masks.

Effective masks and mask fittings:

  • UMN Disability Resource Center (DRC) Mask Room
    The mask room is open every Thursday, from 9-11 a.m. in the basement of Boynton. Students, faculty, and staff can come for mask fittings, mask recommendations, and pricing options. 
  • University Health and Safety Mask support program
    Get help choosing a high-quality mask and  instructions on use and care; visit the website
  • CDC guides: Effective mask wearing | Types of masks | Improving mask use

Emergency Paid Leave for COVID-19

Instructors with Family Responsibilities

COVID-19, the DRC, and Instructors

If you have a question we didn’t answer in these pages, please submit it online.

Instructor FAQs

Thank you to the many SPH Health Policy & Management faculty who helped develop this FAQ!


  • Yes. As of Aug. 3, masks are required indoors for everyone, vaccinated and unvaccinated.
  • There are limited exceptions, including:
    • When alone in an office, private study area, or other space. 
    • When teaching or lecturing in a University course at a distance of at least 6 feet from another individual. In this circumstance, instructors may use a University-approved alternative in lieu of a face mask, but only if a face mask would unduly hamper classroom instruction.
  • Be sensitive to the fact that some students and instructors may not be comfortable in a non-physically distanced classroom with masks off at any time.
  • SPH instructor mask kits: All SPH instructors with spring 2022 in-person teaching responsibilities will receive a package of N95 masks for themselves. Instructors should contact their division administrator for information on where to pick up their masks.
  • See detailed guidance under the UMN Faculty & Teaching Considerations FAQ “A student in my class is not wearing a mask, in conflict with the University’s Face Covering Protocol. What should I do?”
  • Classrooms will have disposable masks in the instructor podium drawer for students who forget their mask.


  • At this time, the University is not emphasizing the importance of physical distancing. 
  • Many of the classrooms assigned for SPH courses will be at capacity and we may not be able to physically distance ourselves and students. 
  • However, CDC guidelines and MDH guidelines for Higher Education maintain the importance of physically distancing indoors when there is a population of mixed-vaccination status. You may want to consider ways to assign small-group work in the classroom (e.g. let students do it remotely) that help maintain physical distancing. 
  • The capacity of classrooms is available through the Office of Classroom Management.
  • You may request a bigger classroom; however, there are limitations in what is available. 
  • To request a bigger classroom: Contact the program coordinator who manages your course and they will see what is available online
  • Meeting and conference rooms: 
    • Many SPH spaces have been tested by Neil Carlson and/or Facilities Management (FM). See SPH Conference Rooms + Spaces: COVID-19 for details. 
    • Questions? Contact your division administrator or Tamara Hink at
  • Classrooms: 
    • HVAC systems in all 780 classrooms on the UMN Twin Cities campus have been tested by a task force of Facilities Management (FM) engineers, University Health and Safety (UHS) professionals and faculty experts. 
    • All classrooms meet CDC, OSHA, and ASHRAE guidelines
    • University Health and Safety can provide information about the HVAC system in your classroom. If you have questions or concerns about their findings, contact the Office of Classroom Management at for assistance in exploring alternative classrooms.
  • It is recommended to use a microphone in larger classrooms so that students can better hear you with a mask and in order to record lectures for students who cannot be in the classroom.
  • There are two types of microphones: 1) podium microphones, and 2) lavalier microphones that clip onto your clothing and allow you to move around the room. You can check what technology is available in your assigned classroom through Classroom Technology.


  • No.  University policy states, “Students enrolled in their classes based on, among other things, the modality offered, which was decided in collaboration between the instructor and the unit, based on pedagogical appropriateness, student demand, and personal health conditions of the instructor (see the March 12, 2021 message for details on this guidance).”
  • Instructors should clearly communicate with their students about course delivery.
  • General questions about course modality? Consult Betsy Wattenberg, SPH associate dean of education and student engagement
  • Questions about effective delivery of online components of courses? Consult the SPH Office of E-Learning Services
  • Questions about requesting personal accommodations due to a disability or health condition? Consult with the Disability Resource Center (DRC) 
  • Yes. If it doesn’t interfere with the effectiveness of student engagement.

Other Questions

See detailed guidance on the following websites: 

In brief, instructors and staff should not:

  • Disclose to anyone that a student is sick, has a positive COVID-19 test, or is in quarantine due to exposure.
  • Do any investigating or contact tracing. Leave this to state and local public health officials. 
  • Unilaterally change the modality of a class.

Instructors and staff should:

  • Advise the student to contact the Boynton Nurse Line at 612-625-3222 (answered 24/7) or another trusted health care provider (even if the student appears to be asymptomatic).
  • Provide accommodations if required. A student should not be referred to the DRC to get accommodations due to testing positive or self-isolation, but is covered under the University Policy for Makeup Work for Legitimate Absences
  • Make expectations for students who test positive clear on your syllabus/Canvas sites.
  • If the student experiences serious medical complications that affect their continued learning due to COVID-19, have them reach out to the DRC as soon as possible.
  • No. instructors or supervisors should not inquire about or otherwise solicit a student’s immunization status or medical test results, either individually or anonymously.
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