Resources and Updates

COVID-19 Information

Updated June 19, 2020: The health of our BVU community is our top priority. As we continue to closely monitor the COVID-19 outbreak, we will update this resource page with new and relevant information.

BVU Campus Sunset

A message regarding the University's plans for in-person classes during the Fall 2020 semester. Read More

University Resources

For more detailed information regarding next steps for current and prospective students, please visit our University Resources page.

Student Resources   Faculty/Staff Resources

Update: June 19, 2020

The COVID-19 work-from-home policy for all non-essential employees is extended through Friday, July 10, 2020. All Buena Vista University employees who have the ability to perform their duties from home are expected to do so.

In order to protect students, employees, and the surrounding community, the University is only hosting internal, BVU events through December 2020. Any external events that were scheduled to be hosted by external parties on campus have been cancelled, postponed, or will be conducted virtually through the remainder of the calendar year. Please email Lori Ohlson-Townsend with questions or call her at 712.749.2151 or 712.229.5788.

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.

What is coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus that was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China.

How does coronavirus (COVID-19) spread?

The virus that causes COVID-19 probably emerged from an animal source but is now spreading from person to person. The virus is thought to spread mainly between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. 

What are the symptoms?

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), those infected with the virus experience mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of: 

  • Fever
  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath

CDC officials believe the symptoms can manifest in as few as two or as many as 14 days after exposure.

Is there a vaccine? 

There is currently no vaccine to protect against COVID-19. The best way to prevent infection is to take everyday preventive actions, like avoiding close contact with people who are sick and washing your hands often.

What should I do if I am sick?

  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

If you have traveled to or from an affected area in the last 14 days and feel sick with a fever,  cough, or have difficulty breathing, or if you have had close contact with someone showing these symptoms, the Iowa Department of Public Health is asking that you do the following:

  • Seek medical care right away. Before you go to a healthcare office, call ahead and tell them about your travel and your symptoms.
  • Do not travel while sick. Avoid contact with others. 
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes.
  • Wash hands often.

Travel Advisory

BVU has suspended all University-sponsored international and domestic travel for students, faculty, and staff. For future travel, we will continue to monitor and assess as necessary. Students, faculty, and staff independently traveling are encouraged to fill out the Travel Reporting Form. For anyone who has planned to return to campus, you must fill out our Health Screening Form and receive approval before setting foot on campus.

A model airplane and stethoscope

Prevention Protocol

The best strategy to reduce the risk of becoming ill is to avoid crowded settings and take preventive actions:

  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds or with a hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your nose, mouth and eyes.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, or cough and sneeze into your upper sleeve. Dispose of tissues in no-touch trash receptacles.
  • Wash your hands or use a hand sanitizer after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose.
  • Avoid close contact (within 6 feet) with coworkers and customers.
  • Avoid shaking hands and always wash your hands after physical contact with others.
  • If wearing gloves, always wash your hands after removing them.
  • Keep frequently touched common surfaces (for example, telephones, computer equipment, etc.) clean.
  • Try not to use other workers' phones, desks, offices, or other work tools and equipment.
  • Minimize group meetings; use e-mails, phones and text messaging. If meetings are unavoidable, avoid close contact (within 6 feet) with others and ensure that the meeting room is properly ventilated.
  • Limit unnecessary visitors to the workplace.
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle; attention to rest, diet, exercise and relaxation helps maintain physical and emotional health.

Hands being thoroughly washed