Dear Valpo Students,
We are very excited for your return to campus in a few weeks. This email provides general information about Valparaiso University’s guidelines and protocols for Fall 2022 related to Covid-19. The information is reflective of the University’s continued commitment to ensuring the safety and health of the campus community, informed by current policy and best practice from the CDC, and congruent with updated guidance from the Porter County Health Department and the Indiana State Health Department.
These guidelines are based on the current COVID-19 situation and are subject to change.
1. Vaccination Requirements
-COVID-19 vaccination requirements at Valpo remain the same. The University is requiring all faculty, staff, and students to be fully vaccinated (definition of fully vaccinated includes the initial vaccine series and one completed booster) to protect the health and safety of the entire University community as evidence supports that vaccination prevents the most serious illness. Medical and religious exemptions to the COVID-19 vaccination requirement will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
-The second COVID-19 booster shot is not currently required, but encouraged for those who are eligible. A second booster requirement is subject to change based on CDC and local/state Health Department guidance this year. Students will be informed of any future requirements.
-Flu shots will not be required, but are strongly encouraged for all faculty, staff, and students. Flu shot clinics and opportunities will be made available for students later in the Fall semester at the Student Health Center. Getting a flu shot will help our campus community stay healthy.
2. Mask Guidance
-Mask usage will be optional for healthy students, faculty, and staff. Masks are strongly encouraged for those who are not fully vaccinated due to their approved exemption.
-Individuals who are symptomatic should wear a mask and test themselves for COVID-19. If a student tests positive, they should contact the Health Center for assistance and resources.
-Students who are direct contacts of a positive COVID-19 person, but are asymptomatic, will be required to wear a mask for ten (10) days under current CDC guidelines.
-Students who test positive and complete their 5 day isolation, will be released and allowed to return to class but must follow a strict mask requirement for five (5) additional days.
-Faculty may require masks in their classrooms and labs at their discretion when conditions may call for such discretion. Faculty will notify students in their classes if this is a requirement for their course.
3. Testing Guidance for Return in August
-Students, faculty, and staff are strongly encouraged to take an “At-Home” COVID-19 test prior to returning to campus. In the event of a positive test only, students should submit a photo of the positive test (with your Valpo OneCard) to the Student Health Center at email@example.com and isolate at home for at least five (5) days. Do not return to campus. By notifying the Health Center of a COVID-19 positive status, we can help you. The Student Health Center will issue a medical excuse to the faculty for any missed classes or days while the student is in isolation. “At-Home” COVID-19 tests are currently available for free at https://www.covid.gov/tests, or at most local pharmacies.
4. Isolation & Quarantine
-Regardless of vaccination status, students who test positive for COVID-19 will be placed in isolation for five (5) days. If a fever persists after five days, one will remain in isolation until the fever has resolved, without medication, for 24-hours. After the five day isolation period, students will be released from isolation and may return to activities masking for five (5) additional days.
-Students who are exposed to a positive COVID-19 case but are asymptomatic or healthy will not be placed into a quarantine room. They will be required to wear a mask for ten (10) days.
5. Guests and Visitors:
-Unvaccinated guests and visitors are strongly encouraged to wear masks at indoor campus locations. Masks are optional for fully vaccinated guests and visitors.
The conditions and situation around COVID-19 continues to evolve. We are now treating this virus as endemic, and the reality of it as a part of our everyday lives. Highly vaccinated communities like our campus community are the safest. We will continue to make decisions that protect the overall well-being of our campus community members, while adopting this endemic approach, and maintaining vaccination requirements and protocols that make our valuable in-person Valpo experience as normal as possible.
Thank you again for your commitment to the guidelines in place to protect you and our campus community.
The Student Life Team