Resources and Updates

COVID-19 Information

The health of the Buena Vista University community is our top priority. We are committed to communicating safety measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, as well as the number of active cases on campus.

BVU Campus Sunset

Active COVID-19 Cases

As of May 6, 2021 at 8:30 a.m.

Take me to:

Reporting and Right to Privacy

BVU is committed to data transparency by reporting the number of active positive COVID-19 cases among Storm Lake students and employees. In an effort to keep our community informed about the presence of COVID-19 on our residential campus, BVU will report any new cases, as well as the number of active positive cases on our website and via email by noon each Friday. To respect the privacy of our students and employees, BVU will not release specific information about individuals who are in quarantine or who have tested positive. Because the integrity of our reporting data is important and because of the great number of variables taken into consideration in order to report accurate additional information, we will not be sharing details on isolation, quarantine, other illnesses/symptoms, location, and more. 

Contact Tracing

On Oct. 21, the CDC updated its guidelines and BVU has adapted our contact tracing processes to match them. Following the updated guidelines, "close contact" is considered someone who was within six feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period starting from two days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, two days prior to test specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.

Positive Case Procedure

We are following these closely and continue to update our policies in accordance with new information. When students test positive, they follow these steps:

  • Wait for a call from BVU Health Services asking for permission to confidentially disclose their COVID-19 test results and participate in a contact tracing interview.
  • Determine ability to travel home based on the following criteria:  
    • Live within 6 hours of campus 
    • Have the means to travel
    • Are physically able to drive (daylight hours only)
  • Email when they leave campus. 
  • Receive on-campus protocol (if quarantined on campus) including meal delivery/times, laundry/garbage pickup times, completing the Student Illness Report form daily, sanitizing high-touch areas in rooms, restroom/shower instructions, and physical distancing/wearing a mask if sharing a room with another student. 
  • Call BVU Health Services if in need of assistance during quarantine. Health Services checks the Student Illness Report form, and students are monitored for health and safety daily. 
  • Contact Health Services to ensure they meet the “return to campus” criteria recommended by the CDC once the 10-day quarantine is complete. 

Beavers Forward Helpline

Have questions about our policies or COVID-19 on campus?


Monday-Friday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Anonymously Report Concerns

Students may report concerns about unsafe behavior by selecting "I would like to anonymously report" from the category dropdown. Submissions will remain anonymous.

Reporting Form

Incident Level Operational Indicators

Level 1 - Normal
Cases are rare and transmission controlled

Buena Vista University is currently at this level.
In Level 1, the safety team continuously monitors daily status of students and employees. Safety protocols are actively managed and any quarantined or isolated individuals are well controlled. The infection rates are non-existent or at a very low level that is well contained by the health and safety team in conjunction with local medical facilities as needed. 
Level 2: Moderate Alert
Moderate number of cases with most from a known source
In Level 2, the safety team is monitoring and managing a low level of symptomatic and confirmed positive cases that are from a known source. The infection levels are controlled and well managed within our quarantine and isolation protocols. Cases are contained and levels are not increasing, with individuals moving into recovery. Any high risk students or employees are protected by a shift to remote classes or work until they are cleared to return to campus. Local medical facilities are supporting treatment. 
Level 3: High Alert
Multiple cases, including community spread with some undetected cases
In Level 3, the safety team is monitoring and managing a higher rate of infection that is from known or unknown sources, with suspected undetected cases. There also can be cases of community spread that might impact the BVU population. There is a continuous rise in cases that is not fully controlled. At this level, the university will shift fully to remote instruction and work for all except essential employees. Local medical facilities are supporting treatment. Strong consideration given to closing the residence halls.
Level 4: Crisis Alert
Widespread uncontrolled outbreak with many undetected cases
In Level 4, the safety team is monitoring and managing a rate of infection that is from known and unknown sources. There are detected and undetected cases. Cases of community spread that are also impacting the BVU population. There is a continuous rise in cases that is uncontrolled. Local medical facilities are unable to fully support more cases. At this level, the university will be shifted fully to remote instruction and work for all except essential employees. Residence halls closed. Campus closed.

Case Update Criteria

The case count will be updated as follows:

  • Positive cases who exhibited symptoms will be removed from the count once they have met CDC criteria for symptom-based recovery. This is defined as: 
    • At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared and 
    • At least 48 hours have passed without a fever—without the use of fever-reducing medications and 
    • Other symptoms of COVID-19 are improving. 
  • Positive cases who were asymptomatic through their isolation will be removed from the count once they are cleared by health professionals to return to classes. 
  • In addition to COVID-19 cases, BVU is also using modified quarantine approaches for students with other contagious respiratory diseases such as influenza. This action is taken to protect the affected individual from acquiring COVID-19, as well as to protect the community from a potential outbreak of a different respiratory illness. 

Campus Monitoring and Assessment

Each morning, the President and two vice presidents meet to assess the current campus situation. They are tracking daily more than 20 variables including isolation numbers, quarantine numbers, and conditions on campus, as well as relevant data in the city, county, and state. Eighteen employees in leadership positions across campus have access to these data and are briefed daily after the morning meeting. Weekly emails are sent to the campus community from the Interim President providing updates on the University’s current status and links to important additions to the website’s resource pages. If an employee has concerns or questions about the status of COVID-19, they are encouraged to reach out to their supervisor. Leadership will make changes to policies and procedures as necessary with new information. 


  • Direct Contact
  • Isolation
  • Quarantine
  • Active Case
  • Contact Tracing
  • Shelter-in-Place

State of Iowa Virus Assessment

The state of Iowa is asking that ALL citizens complete the virus test assessment and be tested if qualified. Please go to to complete the assessment and more information. For questions call 211 or 800.244.7431.

Travel Guidelines

for International Students

International students returning to campus in January are required to provide a negative COVID-19 test result taken 1-3 days before departure for the United States. Students traveling internationally will quarantine in their residence hall room and get tested five days after returning to campus from traveling. They will stay in their room for seven days after travel, even if they receive a negative test result.

A model airplane and stethoscope

Beavers Forward: health and safety practices to follow now that we have returned to campus.

Contact Information

Health Services & Wellness

Available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Email | 712.749.1238

Campus Security

Available 24 Hours

Office of Admissions

Email | 800.383.9600

Center for Academic Excellence

Email | 712.749.1237

Submit a Question

Do you have a question about BVU's COVID-19 safety procedures? Submit it here!