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!

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Active COVID-19 Cases

As of Nov. 30, 2021 at 8:30 a.m.

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Booster Shots

On Friday, Nov. 19 the CDC endorsed that all adults ages 18+ are now approved to get a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot. Boosters may be done with any of the approved three vaccines regardless of what you were vaccinated with during your first round. Depending on what vaccine you received will ultimately decide when you are eligible to get the booster shot. 

  • Johnson & Johnson Janssen: individuals who received this vaccine at least two months ago are eligible for vaccine boosters.
  • Pfizer or Moderna: individuals who received both doses of either of these vaccines at least six months ago are eligible for vaccine boosters.
More information about COVID-19 vaccine booster shots

While the ETS does not require this, we strongly recommend that our employees get a booster shot as we head into the holiday season, especially if you are planning to gather in large groups indoors. If employees choose to get a booster shot, please update your record by resubmitting your information/card using the link below. You may also book an appointment with BVU Health Services for a free COVID-19 vaccine booster if you wish to receive a free booster on campus. When you book, please choose “COVID-19 Vaccine” as the service. 

Book an Appointment

Guidance for OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standard

As of Nov. 22, there are no further updates regarding the ETS and its implementation is still on hold pending the outcome of legal challenges, however we want to remind employees of what will be expected if this mandate is upheld and moves forward. 

On Nov. 5, the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published its Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) mandating that all employers with more than 100 employees must require every employee to either be vaccinated against COVID-19, or wear face covers while at work and be tested for COVID-19 at least one time per week. Since then, there have been various lawsuits filed against the ETS across the country, which has put a stay on the order in some locations. 

On Nov. 17, in response to an injunction by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, OSHA suspended enforcement of the law. It is unclear if the law will be implemented or not, however, BVU wants to prepare employees in advance if the ETS is implemented.

Vaccinated employees

  • All employees who are vaccinated must submit a copy of their vaccination card to Human Resources using the Vaccination Self Report Link by Nov. 30.
  • If we do not receive a copy of your vaccination card you will be considered unvaccinated and will have to follow the unvaccinated rules regarding wearing a face cover and testing.
  • At this time, a fully vaccinated individual is considered someone who has completed both doses in a two-dose series or one dose of a single-dose vaccine. A booster shot at this time is not required.

Vaccine Exemptions

  • BVU is not mandating vaccinations. Employees who choose to remain unvaccinated, regardless of a medical or religious exemption, will still be required to take weekly COVID-19 tests and wear a 2-ply face covering to work. 
  • An antibody test is not a substitute for vaccination or weekly testing. 

COVID-19 Testing

  • BVU Health Services will offer rapid tests every Tuesday for employees and Wednesdays for student-employees. The cost per test will be $25. Student workers will not be charged for tests taken at BVU’s Health Services. Health Services will coordinate with Human Resources on test results that are conducted on campus. Off-site employees will need to find a location that offers weekly COVID-19 rapid testing and submit results to our COVID-19 Testing Results Self Report by 3 p.m. every Tuesday. In-season coaches will continue with their current testing schedule. 
    • Health Saving Accounts (HSA) are eligible to cover the cost of COVID-19 testing. Tests through BVU Health Services must be paid at the Business Office prior to being tested. Acceptable forms of payments are cash, check, and credit cards/HSA cards (which includes a 2% processing fee). 
    • The deadline each week for employees, except in season athletics staff, to complete their COVID-19 test will be Tuesday at 3 p.m.
  • Employees not in compliance with the outlined face covering and testing requirements will be subject to discipline, up to and including termination. 
  • Employees who receive a positive test result will be required to isolate. Isolation and quarantine guidelines follow CDC recommendations. 

Vaccinations

  • Employees may Book an Appointment for a free COVID-19 vaccination at BVU or visit vaccinate.iowa.gov to find a location near you.
  • For employees who have an appointment to receive a vaccine during work hours, please work with your supervisor to take the time off, you will not need to use your PTO. If you are feeling side effects following your vaccine and are unable to come to work, you may use the emergency paid sick leave for the time off.

OSHA’s ETS Q&A

Which employees will be required to follow OSHA’s ETS guidance?

All employees will be required to follow OSHA’S ETS. Requirements may vary depending on if the employees are on campus or remote. Further guidance is outlined below.

I am an unvaccinated adjunct faculty member, University supervisor, or a remote employee, am I included in the mandate?

Unvaccinated, off-site employees must be tested within seven days prior to coming to the Storm Lake campus, site location, performing work with other employees, or representing BVU for work purposes. For example, University supervisors that go to school districts to perform work for BVU must meet these requirements. A negative test result must be submitted to Human Resources through an electronic form within seven days prior. Employees in this category do not need to submit weekly tests unless working in the above working environments on a weekly basis.

I am an unvaccinated remote employee, that comes to campus on occasion, when should I be tested?

Unvaccinated, remote employees who attend any in-person meetings or events at BVU’s Storm Lake campus or site location offices are included in the mandate. Employees must be tested within seven days prior to coming to the Storm Lake, site campus, or performing work with other employees or representing BVU for work purposes. Employees in this category do not need to submit weekly tests unless working in the above working environments on a weekly basis.

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 OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standard. Wearing a face covering is required while indoors and carrying out your work-study duties, but not when you are “off the clock.”

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. You may use Book an Appointment for a free COVID-19 vaccination at BVU or visit vaccinate.iowa.gov or  vaccines.gov 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.

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

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

What type of COVID-19 testing is allowed?

We are only accepting PCR, Rapid Diagnostic Test and Rapid Antigen Test. At home tests will not be accepted.

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

Employees can receive up to four hours of paid time, to receive each primary vaccination dose. If you have side effects from the vaccination and are unable to work, you need to use your PTO.

If I am unvaccinated, how will I receive my weekly COVID-19 test? Will I be charged for the weekly COVID-19 tests?

Unvaccinated employees are responsible for getting a COVID-19 rapid test done weekly and costs associated with the testing.Health Services will coordinate with Human Resources on test results that are conducted on campus. Site employees will submit their results to Human Resources by an electronic submission form.

BVU Health Services will offer rapid tests on Tuesdays for employees and Wednesdays for student-employees. The cost per test for employees will be $25 and at this time students do not have to pay a fee for tests taken at BVU’s Health Services. Off-site employees will need to find a location that offers weekly COVID-19 rapid testing and submit results to an electronic submission form. Health Saving Accounts (HSA) are eligible to cover the cost of COVID-19 testing. Tests through BVU Health Services must be paid at the Business Office prior to being tested. At BVU, acceptable forms of payments are cash, check, and credit cards/HSA cards (which includes a 2% processing fee).

Do I need to take PTO if I leave work to receive a required COVID-19 test?

No, you do not need to take PTO to receive your weekly COVID-19 test. Please inform your supervisor of your weekly COVID-19 test time.

Can I submit the $25 COVID-19 test fee to Wellmark to be paid?

COVID-19 tests are only covered when ordered by a doctor. Weekly testing is not covered.

The American Rivers Conference requires unvaccinated, in-season athletics staff to be tested for COVID-19 twice per week. Will athletics staff be charged for their required tests?

Yes, beginning Jan. 4, 2022, all employees who are unvaccinated will be charged for required COVID-19 testing. Unvaccinated coaches and athletics staff will continue being tested twice per week while in season and are responsible for payment for every test.

If I am unvaccinated and on PTO, do I need to submit my weekly test?

COVID-19 tests must be taken and submitted to HR within seven days before returning to the workplace. If you will return to the workplace within seven days, you are responsible for taking your COVID-19 test while on PTO and submitting your results.

Do I need to wear a face cover while at work?

Employees not fully vaccinated by Dec. 5, 2021, will be required to wear a 2-ply face covering while indoors at work and when occupying a vehicle with another person for work purposes. Gators and bandanas do not meet federal requirements for a face covering. Face covers do not need to be worn when alone in a room with floor-to-ceiling walls and a closed door and for a limited time while eating or drinking or for identification purposes to comply with safety and security requirements.

What date do I need to be vaccinated by before having to take weekly COVID-19 tests?

If you wish to receive a vaccination to meet the Jan. 4, 2022, deadline, we have calculated these dates for each vaccine:

  • Moderna: first dose by Nov. 23 and second dose by Dec. 21
  • Pfizer: first dose by Nov. 30 and second dose by Dec. 21.
  • Johnson & Johnson: single dose by Dec. 21.

Human Resources Policies

Testing

  • 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 has resumed. 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 work on campus full time unless otherwise approved by their site supervisor and/or Human Resources. 

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: https://bvu.medicatconnect.com/.

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.   

Hygiene

  • 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.  

CARES Act: on March 27, 2020, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which provided emergency aid funds to institutions of higher education.  More information

Academics

  • 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.

Cleaning

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

Athletics

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