It is hard to believe that the start of the fall semester is just three weeks away! It has been a challenging summer and we hope you are as excited as we are to get the academic year going. This message provides some important information about what we are doing to ensure a safe campus environment.
Student Commitment Form
As a reminder, all students need to review and sign the Student Commitment Form before returning to campus. This form ensures you are informed of and commit to individual safety practices that we know will help stop the spread of the virus. If you are a student employee, you will need to also complete the employee Community Responsibility Acknowledgement. These are measures that we all need to take seriously, both on and off campus, so we can continue to keep our campus and community safe. More details on how the mask requirement will be enforced are coming soon.
COVID-19 Pre-Arrival Testing
All students are strongly encouraged (but not required) to be tested. This is important because you may be COVID positive but have mild or no symptoms and still be able to infect others. Regardless, all students are asked to follow the CDC’s critical COVID behavioral guidelines for at least 14 days prior to arriving on campus, including wearing a mask, physical distancing, and avoiding large events. Anyone testing positive, regardless of whether they live in campus housing or not, should stay at home, not come to campus, isolate themselves for 10 days and then retest once symptoms improve. Use the IU COVID Health Services to access screening and IU testing resources if experiencing symptoms.
If you are living on-campus, you will be required to complete a diagnostic or viral COVID-19 test and report test result here before returning to campus. Testing must be conducted within the 10 days prior to arriving on campus for move-in. For help find testing locations and more information on the pre-arrival testing requirement please visit the IU Screening and Testing FAQs. Students residing in campus housing will also be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival on campus for move-in.
Contact Tracing and Testing
We know you may have questions about how positive cases of COVID-19 will be managed on campus. Persons that have been identified as close contacts of an individual who tests positive for COVID-19 will be contacted and advised of actions to take. We have worked hard over the summer to set up our campus and classroom environments with 6 feet of distancing among students and faculty for safe indoor interactions to minimize contact and reduce the spread of the virus. This is just one example of the multitude of actions we are taking to ensure the safest possible campus learning, living and working environment.
We are carefully monitoring current COVID-19 trends, locally and beyond, and are fortunate to have a number of IU public health experts at our disposal. While I remain hopeful that our community will continue to do all the right things to stop the spread of the virus, we are fully prepared to modify our plans for fall 2020 should the need arise. You can continue to do your part in our community by keeping a safe distance from others, wearing a mask indoors as well as outdoors when you can’t safely distance, and washing/sanitizing your hands often.
My next message will contain additional information about when we will be opening campus buildings, what building hours will be, including the Student Activities Center, as well as how to access student services this fall and how you will receive your IU-branded masks. In the meantime, please wear your own mask when you come to campus. Don’t worry, we will have disposable masks available in case you forget yours at home.
We can’t wait to see you in a few weeks, whether in-person or virtually. Titan Productions and our Office of Student Life are planning a variety of activities and events (both virtual and on-campus) to celebrate the start of the semester. Look for more details about these in upcoming messages. For those of you planning to continue online learning I encourage you to check out Keep Learning IU for tips and resources as well.
As a reminder FAQs are continuously being updated on Fall 2020 IU and Fall 2020 IU South Bend and you can submit a question at any time. We have also launched a weekly virtual Q&A session for students and their families, Thursdays at 5:00pm through August 13. You can learn more and register here.
With Hoosier Spirit and Titan Pride,
Susan Elrod, PhD