COVID-19 Policies

This page explains the COVID-19 Policies that apply to all of Prof. Dave Lillethun’s classes for spring 2022.

I am excited that we will once again be able to hold class in person this semester! I imagine you share my mix of excitement and apprehension about the current situation, but rest assured that I am committed to giving you the best education I can, while keeping your health and safety, and that of the entire Tufts community, my top priority.

The odds of transmitting the SARS-CoV-2 virus between two vaccinated individuals who are both wearing masks are extremely small. The university and course policies are designed to use masks and vaccination, along with isolation and quarantining for those who are infected or have been exposed to those who are infected, to ensure that everyone’s risk is kept to an absolute minimum. Therefore, following these policies will be very much appreciated by your fellow students and the Tufts community.

Once we have thus ensured a safe learning environment, we will be able to confidently proceed with our important goal of education and learning.

  1. The global pandemic is a dynamic situation, and none of us can fully anticipate what the situation will be like half way through the semester, let alone at the end. Therefore, as we respond to changing situations, all of these policies (as well as university policies) may be subject to change during the semester.
  2. You must follow all university policies regarding COVID-19, and they will be enforced in my classes. Note that some of these policies have changed since the previous semester.
  3. This class will meet in person. In order to ensure the best possible educational experience for students attending in person, there is no “remote option” available.
    • The university has announced that all classes will be virtual through Friday, Jan. 21, so we will meet online using Zoom until then. (Zoom connection details will be posted in Canvas.) After Monday, Jan. 24, all classes will be held in person only.
  4. You must comply with the university policies regarding vaccination, including booster shots, before coming to class in person. This applies to me as well – I am already fully vaccinated and “boosted” and have registered as such with the university. That means you must have submitted your vaccination (and “boosting”, if applicable) information or request for an exemption, and received an approval response. If you are not in complete compliance with the vaccination policies, do not come to class.
    • If you need to temporarily miss a few classes while you bring yourself into compliance, this will be treated as an excused absence.
  5. You must wear a mask in class at all times. This applies to everyone, regardless of vaccination status; even me – I will be wearing a mask. The mask must an appropriate one and be worn properly, per medical guidance – i.e., it must fully cover the mouth and nose, and be reasonably free of any significant gaps.
    • Starting this semester, the university mask requirement cannot be satisfied with cloth masks. Wearing a cloth mask alone is not sufficient, and is not in compliance. Appropriate masks include 3-ply surgical masks, which are available for free at many locations around campus (including near the entrance to the Cummings building).
    • Since masks must be worn at all times, that unfortunately means there will be strictly no eating or drinking in class. Food and drink may be brought in closed containers, e.g., to consume later, but may not be consumed in the classroom.
    • If you have a legitimate medical reason that you cannot wear a mask, accommodations will be allowed for that if and only if you have been granted that specific accommodation through the Accessibility Services (StAAR Center) and they have contacted me directly to inform me of that accommodation. Until then, do not attend class without wearing a mask. If you need to temporarily miss a few classes while you get that accommodation approved, this will be treated as an excused absence.
    • Anyone spotted not wearing a mask, or wearing one improperly, will be given a warning and asked to put on a mask in the proper manner. Anyone who does not do so promptly after being asked will have to leave the building.
    • In the very unlikely event that someone refuses to wear a mask or leave the room, nobody (student or instructor) will be forced to remain in the classroom with an un-masked student. Any student who wishes to leave will be permitted to do so, and the instructor is also free to end class and leave (and you should expect that this will happen). That student will also be reported to the university, per university policy.
  6. If you are not feeling well, do not come to class. If you’re not sure whether you’re sick, then be safe and stay home. If you think you have something different that isn’t COVID-19, then be safe and stay home. All absences related to COVID-19 (including illness, needing to quarantine, etc.) or due to any illness will be treated as excused absences.
    • We will not take attendance in this class, and there are no attendance or participation points to miss out on if you skip class. Missing class for any reason will not directly harm your grade (although you will still be responsible for learning anything you missed and demonstrating that knowledge on subsequent exams, quizzes, and other assignments).
    • Some courses may have tests or other graded in-class activities, but an excused absence for illness will allow you an appropriate accommodation (such as a make up test/assignment).
  7. All of these policies (and all course policies, in general) are subject to the sole interpretation of the instructor. However, I am happy to answer questions, so if anything isn’t clear then please ask me in advance. Confusion on your part will not be an acceptable excuse after the fact for violating these policies.

Thank you for taking the time to read the COVID-19 policies for this class. These rules are designed to keep you and the rest of the Tufts community healthy. If everyone follows these policies diligently, then we should be able to have a safe and productive semester!

Dave Lillethun, Ph.D.

Dave Lillethun, Ph.D.

Dave Lillethun teaches classes about programming (CS1), computing systems, databases, and the CS senior capstone at Tufts University.

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You may find my contact information on my faculty profile page.