UCR Campus

What to Expect - Instructors


Guidance for In-person Instruction at UC Riverside 


These FAQs were developed by the Instructional Continuity Workgroup (ICW) to help instructors prepare for and deliver their in-person courses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ICW established five principles to guide our return to in-person instruction:

  1. Prioritize the health and safety of all members of our campus community.
  2. Extend in-person education to the greatest extent possible, consistent with our mission as a residential R1 research university.
  3. Balance consistent decision-making at the campus level with appropriate pedagogical flexibility at the department/program level.
  4. Communicate clearly with the campus community.
  5. Prepare to adapt to ever-changing conditions.
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As an instructor, you are expected to:

  • Teach in-person, but be prepared to suspend in-person instruction if directed by the campus. If you have been assigned to teach an in-person class, then your default teaching mode is in-person. However, if there is a greater-than-normal risk that you may be unable to teach in person for some period of time – perhaps due to changing public health guidelines, worsening pandemic conditions, or if you get sick yourself, having a contingency plan to pivot to remote instruction on short notice, and informing your students of this plan in advance, is essential. XCITE has resources to help you accomplish this.
  • Encourage your students to adhere to COVID-related health and safety requirements. 
    You are not obligated to actively enforce the campus vaccination or face covering policies in your classroom. However, please help to preserve our ability to offer in-person instruction by encouraging your students to comply. You can learn about student requirements here and download “Let’s Do R Part” graphics and templates here. It is also recommended to include the following suggested text in your syllabus: All students in this course, as a condition of physical presence in the classroom (including for exams or tests in the classroom or other location on the UCR campus), must be compliant with the UC SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program (Program) at all times. Compliance is easily achieved by providing proof of Full Vaccination or submitting a request for Exception or Deferral as required by the Program. Students in violation of the Program or related directives of the instructor will be subject to disciplinary or other remedial action.  The Policy can be found at: https://policy.ucop.edu/doc/5000695/SARS-CoV-2_Covid-19
  • Watch for updates. The campus continues to monitor public health conditions closely. The Campus Return website is the “go-to” site for the latest information about instruction, and will be updated frequently with the most recent guidance and any operational changes necessitated by public health conditions. Please check this site often and be alert for other campus communications.
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  • Ask about vaccination status. Do not ask students about their vaccination status or request proof of vaccination. The central campus administration is responsible for reviewing vaccination status and clearing students, faculty, and staff to return to campus.
  • Share information about positive cases. UCR's Occupational Health Coordinator is responsible for case investigation, and has policies and procedures for informing students, faculty, and staff about possible exposure. Due to privacy concerns, you should not communicate information about positive cases that could disclose anyone’s personal health information. 


If you have general questions about instruction that are not answered below, please send them to the COVID-19 Coordinating Committee via the Academic Senate Chair or Vice Chair, or directly to Erin Schuster, Executive Assistant to the Provost, at erin.schuster@ucr.edu.


(Masking, vaccination, testing, cleaning, etc.)


  • What will happen if a student in my class tests positive for COVID-19? (Revised 6/22/2023)

    Instructors are not responsible for monitoring the health status of their students or making decisions about suspending in-person instruction. If a student tests positive, the Occupational Health Coordinator will be notified when the student submits their COVID Screening Check. The student is not obligated to directly notify you of the positive test (see related FAQ about a student notifying an instructor of a positive test). The Occupational Health Coordinator  will initiate a case investigation. Notices will be posted on UCR’s COVID-19 dashboard, you will receive an email if you are teaching in an affected room, and close contacts (identified through case investigation) also will be notified via email.

    Students who are instructed to isolate based on the findings of the case investigation may contact you to discuss options for continuing to make progress in your class during this time (see related FAQ about offering remote options to such students).

    You should not suspend in-person instruction for all students because of a positive test, a case investigation, or a group of students in isolation In the unlikely event that this happens, the Registrar will notify all affected instructors (including TAs), deans, department chairs/program directors, and academic scheduling coordinators. You will be responsible for notifying your students. Cleaning and disinfection typically require less than 24 hours, and you may teach remotely during this time. When your classroom re-opens, you should return to in-person instruction. Generally, if you have not been directed to suspend in-person instruction by the Occupational Health Coordinator, the central campus administration, or your dean, you should continue teaching in-person.

  • What should I do if a student tells me they have tested positive for COVID-19? (Revised 6/22/2023)

    Advise the student not to participate in any on-campus in-person activities and to complete the COVID Screening Check immediately, and follow the provided instructions. A Occupational Health Coordinator member may contact the student for additional information. If the student has questions in the interim they can contact the Occupational Health Coordinator at covid19@ucr.edu. The Occupational Health Coordinator will advise on next steps.

  • As an instructor, when should I quarantine? (Revised 6/22/2023)

    Please complete the COVID Screening Check to report the result of a positive COVID-19 test, have COVID-like symptoms (symptoms from a known or chronic condition (e.g. allergies, asthma, etc.) are not considered COVID-19 symptoms for this report), were exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 (close contact with a known positive person for more than 15 minutes in a 24 hour period). Upon completion, instructions will be provided via email.

  • Do I have to provide a remote option for students who are symptomatic, test positive for COVID-19, or must quarantine due to close contact? (Revised 6/22/2023)

    You are not obligated to provide a remote option. However, if you adopt a strict approach that limits all remote access to your course, students may feel additional pressure to attend class when they are symptomatic, or to fail to report a positive test or close contact. Therefore, instructors are encouraged to be flexible and seek compromises to help protect public health on campus and our ability to offer in-person instruction and other activities. If you find yourself in an untenable situation, such as the unlikely event that a large number of students must quarantine for an extended period of time, contact your chair to discuss options but do not unilaterally suspend in-person instruction. If a solution that maintains in-person instruction cannot be found at the department level, escalate to your dean.

    If a student has an especially prolonged case of COVID, as determined by Student Health Services, the student may have the option to register with the Student Disability Resource Center (SDRC) and receive formal disability accommodations. The SDRC is available to answer your questions and offer guidance in these situations.

  • How can I report a COVID-19 or public health related concern?

    A link to an online intake form can be accessed from this website: https://ehs.ucr.edu/coronavirus. Submissions are anonymous unless the submitter provides their contact information. Please encourage your students to help protect public health on campus by using this form.


Instructional guidance, guest speakers, in-person delivery, preparing for another transition, and other questions.