COVID-19 Information

2019 Novel Coronavirus and Campus Safety

Last Updated: March 31, 2020 at 8 p.m.

As updates continue to emerge regarding COVID-19, we are monitoring the situation and meeting regularly to review local, state, and national health agency reports and assess preparedness plans. Out of an abundance of caution, we have modified the University’s operations in order to fulfill our educational mission as a student-focused residential campus, keep our campus community safe and healthy, and reduce the spread of COVID-19 to more vulnerable populations.

A preparedness plan is in place, and Valparaiso University will continue to work closely with the Porter County Health Department and Indiana State Department of Health to adjust and refine University-wide plans as the situation evolves and align resources accordingly.

We are taking all reasonable precautions, which includes close monitoring of the evolving information coming from local, state, and federal agencies.

Recent Updates

COVID-19 Case Confirmed on Campus

To: All Members of the Valparaiso University Community
Posted: March 31, 2020 at 7:58 p.m.

The welfare and safety of our community during this time is Valpo’s primary concern. We are writing to inform you of a recent development relating to COVID-19. In addition to monitoring your emails, you can also visit valpo.edu/coronavirus for regular updates, and check the CDC for national news.

We recently learned of one employee who was last working on campus in Loke Hall on March 18th who has tested positive for COVID-19 on March 30th. Public healthcare and Valpo officials acted quickly and we understand appropriate protocols are being followed. 

President Mark A. Heckler: Community of Learning

To: Students, Faculty, and Staff
Posted: March 30, 2020 at 8 a.m.

Valpo’s mission statement describes us as a community of learning. We have been asked to learn a great deal over the past two weeks. We have learned how to move our entire University community online in the space of a few days. We have learned how to teach, study, and create from home. We have learned how to adapt our academic and administrative policies in response to a rapidly changing and unpredictable environment.

Campus Operations

All classes will be delivered remotely beginning March 16 and extending through the end of the semester, including the final exam period.

The Governor of Indiana has issued an executive order to “stay at home” beginning March 25. As such, we are limiting the occupancy of the University-operated housing to students with essential needs only. Essential needs are defined as those who are verified as international students or students who cannot find another place to stay due to the student having a family member at home who is in a higher risk health category, students with food or housing insecurity, or students with physically or emotionally unsafe home environments. Students whose homes are 500 or more miles from campus and who cannot find a place to stay in the interim would also qualify. All other students must leave campus by March 24 at 8 p.m. If students are not able to remove all personal belongings by this time, they can return at a later date (but not before April 7) to get the remainder of their belongings. In addition, students who are not currently approved to be living on campus will not be allowed to return to University-operated housing. Students will receive an email indicating when they are permitted to return to campus to complete the process of moving out.

  • Effective immediately, patrons of Valpo Dining Services may acquire to-go meals in the Founders servery to be consumed in areas other than the Founders Dining Room, Hearth Room, or the Café dining area.
  • Effective March 22, 10 p.m., the Campus Café will be closed until further notice as a result of the restrictions on gatherings and dine-in patrons.
  • The Counseling Center has provided techniques and resources for coping with uncertainty, change, and fear.
IT HelpDesk
  • Remote services available
Christopher Center 
  • Remote services available
Chapel
  • Closed
Center for the Arts
  • Closed
Brauer Museum of Art
  • Closed
Fitness Center
  • Closed
ARC Informal Recreation
  • Closed
Pool Open Lap Swim
  • Closed
Grinders
  • Closed
Campus Shuttle 
  • Closed

 

Harre Union Hours and Operations:


The Harre Union will be open for limited hours on a daily basis primarily for students to pick up meals, and to pick up mail from the mail window only during the listed hours. The Union and Dining operations will only be open and accessible through one set of doors. The rest of the Union building and operations will remain closed.

 

Beginning Monday, March 30, 2020 – Until Further Notice
Union Open at North Entrance Only (North Entrance is Nearest Parking Lot 13)
  • Monday through Friday – 11am – 1:30pm and 4pm – 6pm
  • Saturday and Sunday – 11am – 1:30pm and 4pm – 6pm
  • All Other Hours – Closed Until Further Notice
Cafe Dining Hours – Pick Up and Carryout Only
  • Lunch – 11am – 1:30pm
  • Dinner – 4pm – 6pm
Founders Dining Hall – Closed Until Further Notice
Gameroom – Closed Until Further Notice
Student Organization Suite and Commuter Lounge – Closed Until Further Notice
Computer Lab – Closed Until Further Notice
Mailroom
  • Monday – Friday – 11am – 1:30pm and 4pm – 6pm
  • Pick-Up Window Only
Bookstore – Closed Until Further Notice – Online Only

The University has determined that it is appropriate to continue to deliver its academic programs in remote formats through the end of the spring semester including final exams.  The University continues to have students living on campus for various reasons and it is our intent to provide essential services to these students. Currently the administration is focused primarily on academic continuity, and the continued health and safety of our students, faculty and staff. The administration will review the University’s current Withdrawal and Refund Policy. 

All students studying abroad were recalled on March 10. Valparaiso University is working closely with our Study Abroad partners to facilitate distance learning so those students may complete their courses.


University Events and Activities

In response to guidance from the CDC and the Governor of Indiana addressing face-to-face events and meetings, all Valparaiso University face-to-face gatherings, social events, and meetings with more than 10 individuals have been cancelled. This determination is not meant to interrupt daily operations or limit building capacities; rather, it applies solely to face-to-face social events, gatherings and meetings, whether they involve our employees on campus, or have been scheduled by external groups. We strongly encourage our campus colleagues to move to virtual meetings, teleconferences, or other remote options, even for gatherings with fewer than 10 participants, during this time.

Valparaiso University fully supports decisions made by the Missouri Valley Conference, the Summit League and the NCAA in cancelling all remaining MVC and Summit League winter and spring contests and NCAA championship events.

All of the Chapel’s worship services have moved online. Sunday morning worship services, Sunday evening Candlelight service, Wednesday evening Celebrate! services, and Morning Prayer will not be held at the Chapel of the Resurrection until further notice.

You can join us remotely using the following links:

We will continue to evaluate the situation and communicate any changes should they occur.


Employees

University employees are essential to campus operations and, more importantly, valued members of our community. If you believe you or an immediate family member may be ill, please stay home. The University’s Executive Management Council has issued a COVID-19 Emergency Response Protocol to assist employees who express needs due to COVID-19.

  • If you believe you may be ill, please contact your health care provider and take sick days as needed.
  • Employees who need to be at home as a result of any COVID-19 related circumstance, including illness, may be given up to 15 paid supplemental leave days. These days will be taken after any available sick time. Please speak with your supervisor to request such arrangements.

Travel Information

All University-sponsored international travel and non-essential University-sponsored domestic air travel has been suspended indefinitely. 

For those of you who have been traveling internationally or had significant domestic travel (beyond home and back) independently (not on University-sponsored trips), we ask for your help as part of our Coronavirus (COVID-19) preparedness plan. Please take a moment and enter your information on the form below. 

  • All University-sponsored international travel has been suspended indefinitely.
  • All non-essential University-sponsored domestic air travel has been suspended indefinitely. Essential travel constitutes trips that are absolutely necessary, must be completed face-to-face, and cannot be rescheduled. Contact your division vice president or academic dean if you wish to seek an exemption for University-sponsored domestic air travel.

We advise you to consult health resources prior to making future arrangements for air travel or attending conferences or large gatherings.

  • Please complete the Traveler Information Form if you traveled internationally or had significant domestic travel (beyond home and back) during Spring Break.
  • Anyone who returned to the U.S. from a country which at the time of your return was designated as CDC Level 2 or CDC Level 3 advisory, and whose return was on or before March 11, must self-isolate off campus for 14 days from their date of return to the U.S. and be cleared by an appropriate medical professional before returning to campus. Affected countries include China, Iran, South Korea, and Italy.
  • Additionally, anyone who returns to the U.S. from any international location on or after March 12 must self-isolate off campus for 14 days from their date of return to the U.S. and be cleared by an appropriate medical professional before returning to campus.
  • If the medical clearance is completed off campus, please submit the clearance documentation to the Valparaiso University Health Center. This can be provided in person or emailed to health.center@valpo.edu (please use your Valparaiso University email for privacy) or faxed to 219.464.5410.
  • Anyone who returned to the U.S. from a country which at the time of your return was designated as CDC Level 2 or CDC Level 3 advisory, and whose return was on or before March 11, must self-isolate off campus for 14 days from their date of return to the U.S. and be cleared by an appropriate medical professional before returning to campus. Affected countries include China, Iran, South Korea, and Italy.
  • Additionally, anyone who returns to the U.S. from any international location on or after March 12 must self-isolate off campus for 14 days from their date of return to the U.S. and be cleared by an appropriate medical professional before returning to campus.
  • If the medical clearance is completed off campus, please submit the clearance documentation to the Valparaiso University Health Center. This can be provided in person or emailed to health.center@valpo.edu (please use your Valparaiso University email for privacy) or faxed to 219.464.5410.
  • Those in self-isolation should also be self-monitoring. Self-monitoring means taking their temperatures twice a day and remaining alert to coughing or difficulty breathing. Anyone on self-monitoring should be provided a plan for whom to contact if they develop fever, cough, or difficulty breathing during the self-monitoring period to determine whether medical evaluation is needed (CDC).
    • Self-monitoring kits are available from the Valparaiso University Health Center at no charge.

When to Seek Medical Help/Health and Wellness

If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms, such as cough or difficulty breathing, call before coming directly into the health center so we can triage your symptoms over the phone and not put any staff or other patients at unnecessary risk. At this time, the health center is not testing for COVID-19. Call the health center at 219.464.5060 (8 a.m. – 5 p.m.) or 219.464.5352 (after 5 p.m.) or your primary healthcare provider for medical advice. Self-monitoring kits are available from the Valparaiso University Health Center at no charge.

We are closely monitoring the outbreak and have formed a task force that coordinates continual updates and campus communications, and subsequent emails will follow to keep all students, faculty, and staff informed as the situation evolves.

The 2019 novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, is a member of a large family of viruses that causes a variety of illnesses in humans and animals. Some strands of coronavirus can cause the common cold while others cause more serious respiratory illnesses. Previous coronavirus outbreaks have included severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).

  • A person infected with COVID-19 may have a fever above 100.4° F, cough, and difficulty breathing. These symptoms also overlap with common illnesses including influenza.
  • Symptoms can take between 2–14 days to appear after being infected.
  • Please call your primary health care provider or your Valparaiso University Health Center if, in the past 14 days, you:
    • Have traveled to an affected area and have a fever and signs or symptoms of a lower respiratory illness (cough, shortness of breath), or
    • Were in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 and have a fever or signs of a lower respiratory illness (cough, shortness of breath)
  • Your health care provider will work with the CDC and Indiana State Department of Health to determine if you should be tested for COVID-19.
  • Most cases of COVID-19 are mild and most people have recovered without issue. Valparaiso University will continue to monitor the situation closely and plan and prepare for various scenarios.
  • Anyone with symptoms of acute respiratory illness should stay home and not go to community spaces until they are free of fever (100.4° F or greater using an oral thermometer), signs of a fever and any other symptoms for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing medication (acetaminophen-Tylenol or ibuprofen-Motrin).
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has full details on its website, including the importance of avoiding public transportation if you are feeling ill and staying away from others, even within your own household.
  • If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms, such as cough or difficulty breathing, call before coming directly into the health center so we can triage your symptoms over the phone and not put any staff or other patients at unnecessary risk. At this time, the health center is not testing for COVID-19. Call the health center at 219.464.5060 (8 a.m. – 5 p.m.) or 219.464.5352 (after 5 p.m.) or your primary healthcare provider for medical advice.
  • Your health care provider will work with the CDC and Indiana State Department of Health to determine if you should be tested for COVID-19.
  • There are several ways to reduce the likelihood of contracting or spreading the virus:
    • Avoid touching your face, eyes, nose, or mouth
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
    • Avoid close contact with others
    • Do not share food and drinks
    • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands
    • Clean and disinfect all high touch surfaces include tablets, computers, cell phones, OneCard, keys, and bedside tables
    • Stay home if you are ill, especially if you have a fever, a cough, or difficulty breathing
    • Clean your hands often by washing them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60%–90% alcohol. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty.
    • It is especially important to clean hands after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose.
    • Do not share drinks, food, or utensils.
    • Get good sleep and drink plenty of water.
    • Practice social distancing
      • Remain out of congregate settings.
      • Avoid mass gatherings.
      • Maintain distance (approximately 6 feet) from others when possible.
  • If you are sick or suspect you are infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, follow the steps below to help prevent the disease from spreading to people in your community.
    • Stay home
    • Avoid public areas
    • Avoid public transportation
    • Call ahead before visiting your doctor
    • Wear a facemask if you are sick
    • Cover your coughs and sneezes
    • Clean your hands often
    • Avoid sharing personal household items
    • Clean all “high-touch” surfaces everyday
    • Monitor your symptoms
    • For more details on these, visit our Valpo Health Center Update page
  • Call 911 if you have a medical emergency: If you have a medical emergency and need to call 911, notify the dispatch personnel that you have, or are being evaluated for COVID-19. If possible, put on a facemask before emergency medical services arrive.

The CDC recommended practicing social distancing to prevent the spread of disease including COVID-19.

  • Remain out of congregate settings.
  • Avoid mass gatherings.
  • Maintain distance (approximately 6 feet) from others when possible.

The Valparaiso University Counseling Center recognizes that during this time of change many may feel uncertainty and fear along with a host of other emotions. There may be concerns that affect your decisions about how to best manage your health and the health of those around you. In an effort to support you we have drafted a list of coping techniques and support resources to manage stress and anxiety.


Resources

Please stay abreast of this dynamic situation using these resources:


Contact

Please contact covid19info@valpo.edu for any additional questions or accommodations relating to campus operations in light of COVID-19.

We will continue to closely monitor the situation and provide further updates to the community as necessary.

The safety and well-being of all members of the Valparaiso University community is our primary concern. Even as we focus on disease prevention, we remember that caring for our community is equally important. Valparaiso University is a global community, and you are encouraged to focus on the facts and come together as a diverse and inclusive community, supporting both one another and people affected by the outbreak. Let us do our utmost to uphold our values of mutual respect and support as a community and not allow fear to divide us in these times.

Student Health Center

Valparaiso University Student Health Center

For emergencies, please call 911

Email: health.center@valpo.edu

Phone: 219.464.5060

Hours of operation: By appointment only