Beavers Forward

Safety Guidelines and More

Buena Vista University is committed to the health and safety of our our students, faculty, and staff, and work to provide updated health and safety guidance. We are Beavers and we will keep building together!

Campus overhead

Active COVID-19 Cases

As of Oct. 26, 2021 at 8:30 a.m.

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Human Resources Policies

Vaccine Mandate Executive Order

  • BVU employs more than 100 employees and will be subject to the rules put in place by OSHA in response to the Biden Vaccine Mandate Executive Order. We are awaiting OSHA documentation, including more information about the Order and how to best handle guidelines for our student workers, adjuncts, online faculty, and more. Since COVID-19 vaccines have become available, we’ve strongly encouraged our community to get vaccinated, as vaccination provides the best protection for the individual as well as the community. We will continue to do so.


  • BVU requires faculty and staff who are showing symptoms of COVID-19 to get tested through their healthcare provider or through self-testing COVID-19 kits provided by Health Services. With supervisor approval, employees may work from home while waiting for their COVID-19 test results. A negative test result must be provided, along with an improvement of symptoms, before returning to work. Employees unable to perform their job duties from home will need to contact Human Resources.

Work-Related Travel

  • Travel for University business may resume. When representing the University, employees are expected to follow COVID-19 safety protocol when traveling on planes, using public transportation, or entering other businesses. 
  • International trips for University business must be cleared by your supervisor, the relevant Vice President, and the Director of Human Resources. The United States State Department guidelines for travel abroad will be consulted when making these decisions.

Return to Work

  • All employees should return to work on campus full time unless otherwise approved by their site supervisor and/or Human Resources. 

Emergency Sick Leave 

On April 1, 2021, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) was extended under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) through September 30, 2021. The emergency paid sick leave and emergency paid family leave covered under the FFCRA applies to the following scenarios:

  • the employee is subject to a federal, state or local quarantine or isolation related to COVID-19;
  • the employee has been advised by a healthcare provider to self-quarantine;
  • the employee is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a diagnosis;
  • the employee is caring for an individual who is subject to quarantine or is self-quarantining; or who has been advised to self-quarantine by a health care professional
  • the employee is caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed (or child care provider is unavailable) because of COVID-19;
  • the employee is seeking or awaiting the results of a diagnostic test for, or a medical diagnosis of, COVID-19;
  • the employee has been exposed to COVID-19;
  • the employer has requested such test or diagnosis;
  • the employee is obtaining immunization related to COVID-19; or
  • the employee is recovering from any injury, disability, illness, or condition related to a COVID-19 immunization.

Biden Vaccine Mandate Q&A

Which employees will be required to be vaccinated under Biden’s vaccine mandate? 

We are anticipating full-time and part-time employees including on-site staff/faculty, off-site and remote staff/faculty,  adjunct faculty, and student workers to be included under Biden’s vaccine mandate

I am a part-time employee or an adjunct faculty member, am I included in the mandate? 

Yes, from the guidance BVU has received, part-time employees and adjunct faculty are expected to be included in the company-wide mandate. We are waiting guidance on if the requirement will only pertain to when an employee is actively working or if the mandate will be required when employees are not working but still considered active in BVU’s payroll system. 

As a student worker, do I qualify as an employee of BVU? 

Yes, student workers are considered employees of the University and are subject to the guidelines of Biden’s vaccine mandate. 

Where can I get a COVID-19 vaccination and is it free? 

BVU’s Health Services offers free vaccinations to students, employees, and their spouses. For remote or off-site workers, we encourage you to use to find a location near you. The federal government is providing vaccines free of charge to all people living in the US, regardless of their immigration or health insurance status.

Will there be exemptions to Biden’s vaccine mandate?

Yes. At this time, we are anticipating medical and religious exemptions to be considered. Once more guidance is out on the exemption qualifications, you will work with Human Resources to complete the process to obtain an exemption. Submission of an exemption request does not automatically grant exemption. A process will be followed, and you will be notified if you qualify.

Do I need to take PTO if I need to leave work to get my vaccine? Do I need to take PTO if I feel symptoms following vaccination?

You can get the vaccine without taking PTO. If you have side effects from the vaccination and are unable to work, then you need to take PTO. Please work with your supervisor if you need to take time off.

If I do not wish to disclose my vaccination status, how will I receive my weekly COVID-19 test? Will I be charged for the weekly COVID-19 tests?

At this time, we do not have enough guidance from OSHA to implement a testing plan and cost structure, however we are working on plans for this process.

What date do I need to be vaccinated by according to Biden’s vaccine mandate?

At this time, we are awaiting further guidance from OSHA on the implementation process. We will update employees as soon as we receive additional information.

Am I exempt if I show I have the COVID-19 antibodies?

No. An antibody test is not allowed as a substitute for vaccination or weekly testing.

If you have any questions about vaccinations or testing, please contact Health Services.

Health & Safety

Vaccinations & Testing

  • Health Services has free PCR tests for COVID-19 infection and free vaccinations for both students and employees. If a student or employee wishes to take a COVID-19 test or receive a vaccination they can Book an Appointment or walk-in Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-4 p.m.Students who already received vaccine should submit their vaccination information through the BVU Student Health Portal:

Face Covering Policy

  • Mask wearing and physical distancing on campus is optional during the academic year. Fully-vaccinated individuals are not required to wear masks. Following CDC guidance, unvaccinated individuals should continue to wear a face mask when physical distancing cannot be maintained. We will continue to evaluate our policies based on vaccination rate, community spread/transmission, and local case numbers.
  • Students and employees are expected to bring masks to campus. Students and employees should carry a mask with them when on campus as masks may be required in certain locations, as well as during certain events. A mask mandate may also be reinstated in the event of an outbreak of COVID-19 on campus. Students and employees are expected to comply with mask-wearing in spaces where it is designated as a requirement.  
  • Individual decisions about mask wearing, or requesting mask wearing when meeting, should be honored and respected. Assumptions should not be made about a person’s vaccination status based on their mask-wearing decisions.   


  • Please continue frequent handwashing following proper technique (20 seconds with friction rub) using soap and water or hand sanitizer throughout the day.
  • Please follow respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette (cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or use the inside of an elbow).

Quarantine/Isolation/Testing Policies

  • Vaccinated individuals who come in contact with a case of COVID-19 do not need to quarantine unless experiencing symptoms.
  • The CDC currently recommends that if a vaccinated individual is asymptomatic, they do not need to quarantine if exposed to COVID-19. However, they should be tested 3-5 days after exposure and should wear a mask indoors for 14 days.
  • If an individual whose vaccination status is voluntarily undisclosed has tested positive or has been in contact with a positive case, they should quarantine/isolate immediately and contact Health Services (students) or Human Resources (employees).
  • Individuals whose vaccination status is voluntarily undisclosed who come in contact with a case of COVID-19 will be required to quarantine for 10 days. Students may either quarantine at home or in Liberty Hall if they are unable to return home.
    • Individuals whose vaccination status is voluntarily undisclosed will need to take a COVID-19 test five to seven days after exposure. COVID-19 tests can be obtained through BVU’s Health Services and Wellness or in a student’s local area if they have returned home for quarantine. 
      • If the individual receives a negative test result, they may return to campus after seven days if they have been fever-free and/or symptom-free for the last 24 hours.
      • Individuals who test positive will need to remain in quarantine for the full 10 days and must be fever free and/or symptom free for the last 24 hours. Students will need to contact Health Services for approval to return to campus.
  • Individuals with a voluntarily undisclosed vaccination status who have tested positive for COVID-19 within the past three months and have recovered do not have to quarantine or take a COVID-19 test again as long as they do not develop new symptoms. Once these individuals are past three months, they will not be considered immune and will have to adhere to the policies above.  


  • Courses that are typically delivered in-person will be held face-to-face as normal. BVU will no longer offer Storm Lake remote as a learning option. Students who wish to learn remotely may enroll in BVU’s online and hybrid courses. Students can work with their academic advisor to determine their learning plan. 
  • Faculty may require masks in classrooms. Students must work directly with their faculty if they are required to quarantine/isolate due to a positive COVID-19 test result or exposure. 

Teaching English as a Second Language

Residence Life

Masks and Face Coverings

At this time, our campus is mask-optional, but we continue to evaluate our policies based on vaccination rate, community spread/transmission, and local case numbers.


Community spaces, including restrooms, are cleaned daily. 

Residence Hall Visitation Policy

Guests, including non-BVU visitors, are currently allowed in residence halls. Residents are limited to three (3) guests each. BVU will continue to evaluate this policy. 

Campus Dining

Dining services are fully open and operational.


Student Engagement

  • Student organization meetings and events may occur in-person as long as they do not exceed the established capacity limits in the space in which they are held. All student organization and student engagement events are expected to abide by all current University COVID-19 policies.
  • Student organizations may bring external guests to campus (i.e. speakers, performers, etc.) for club meetings and events. Students must submit the BVU Vendor and Visitor Clearance Form, which can be found at the Information Desk, ahead of the event and the guests must be approved by both the Director of Community & Student Engagement and the Vice President for Student Success.
  • Student organizations may travel for organization events and programs to domestic locations only. Travel must be approved by both the Director of Community & Student Engagement and the Vice President for Student Success prior to the trip.  

Students outdoors


Fall Schedules: Athletic competitions/schedules have resumed as normal for the Fall 2021 season. 

COVID-19 Testing: Following NCAA, American Rivers Conference (ARC), and local health guidance, BVU administers COVID-19 antigen tests a minimum of two times per week for voluntarily undisclosed Tier 1 individuals who have high exposure including student-athletes, coaches, athletic-trainers, physical therapists, medical staff, and equipment staff who are officially practicing or in-season. 

Testing policies for all individuals are subject to change pending virus prevalence, risk of community spread, and state, local and organizational (NCAA and ARC) policies.

Fan Attendance: All athletic competitions will be open to spectators with no limit on attendance. BVU will continue to follow guidance from the NCAA, the A-R-C, and local and state health officials. The attendance policy is subject to change at any time and masks may be required.

Siebens Fieldhouse and tree