Returning to Campus Guidelines

From: Student Life Staff
To: Students
Posted: January 20, 2021 at 2 p.m.

We are preparing campus to provide a safe and healthy living and learning environment for you this semester.  Please know, we are in constant communication with the Porter County Health Department (PCHD) about our safety plan for the spring semester. The PCHD was very pleased with the University’s fall plan, and has given the University their endorsement of our spring plan.  Today, we are sharing a few updates, guidelines, and expectations for your knowledge prior to your return to campus, and the start of the spring semester on January 25, 2021.

COVID-19 Community Guidelines:

  • Per the PCHD, in-person classes may resume with appropriate physical distancing, face-covering, and cleaning protocols in place. 
  • All students, faculty, and staff are expected to be tested for COVID-19 prior to returning to campus. 
  • Mandatory face-covering expectations will remain in place for faculty, staff, and students regardless if one has had COVID-19 or started the vaccination program. While you may have an immunity to the virus, studies have shown that you may still carry and transmit the virus to others. 
  • Physical Distancing remains necessary to deter the spread of COVID-19. The CDC recommends maintaining a distance of at least six feet between individuals. 
  • Hand washing, sanitizing, and proper hygiene continue to be key practices in combating COVID-19. 
  • Faculty, staff, and students are expected to continue to  conduct a daily self-check for symptoms. 
  • Symptomatic community members should not attend classes or report to work, and should contact their health provider and plan to be tested.

Residential Student Guidelines:

  • Until further notice, students living in the residence halls are required to wear a face covering in all parts of the residential building except when in their own bedroom (with agreement from their roommate) and shower.
  • All visitors are required to wear a face-covering at all times while in the residence hall or apartment.
  • No overnight visitors will be permitted in the residence halls. 
  • Non-residential students and non-student visitors will not be allowed to visit or be present on the residential floors. 
  • Non-residential student or non-student visitors wanting to visit a residential student at their residence hall may do so, but only in public lounge areas located on the first or ground floor of residence halls.

Student Activities Guidelines:

  • Per current PCHD policy, social gatherings and events shall be limited to 25 persons both indoors and outdoors. Student organization or other University in-person meetings, events, programs, or other activities should plan for 25 attendees or less. 
  • Face coverings and physical distancing will be required for any and all in-person activities.
  • The Harre Union Events Staff is working with all student organizations to review any reservations for events or gatherings to ensure compliance with the PCHD guidelines, and assist in helping you plan safe in-person events. 
  • As PCHD guidelines are updated, the University will also update Student Activities Guidelines as appropriate.

Student Quarantine & Isolation Protocol:

If a student tests positive for or has been directly exposed to COVID-19, they will be placed into isolation or quarantine status for a period of time as determined by the Director of the Health Center. Please note, even with the COVID-19 vaccine, quarantine and isolation plans remain necessary.

  • Students will be placed in a designated room for the duration of the isolation or quarantine period, and  Residential Life will provide appropriate instructions. 
  • Students will not be allowed to leave the designated room until they have completed their isolation or quarantine period.  Those in isolation or quarantine may not host any guests in the room. 
  • There will be a private bathroom or specific bathroom access assigned.
  • Residential Life will work with Dining Services to arrange food delivery to the designated room. The food provided by Dining Services will utilize the student’s current University meal plan.
  • Students should be sure to pack essential academic materials, personal items, linens (bed sheets/towels/pillows), and enough clothing to use during the isolation or quarantine period as they will not have access to laundry.
  • University staff will continue to contact the student to check-in with them at least once a day to make sure they have their needs met, and to check on their health.

Thank you in advance for your continued commitment to making our campus community as safe as possible for all.  We are looking forward to your return to campus, and a brand new semester!