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Sycamore Community Health Initiative
The Sycamore Community Health Initiative is the most recent step we are taking to protect the health of our community as we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.
Beginning January 1, 2022, the Sycamore Community Health Initiative requires Indiana State University students, faculty, and staff to participate in weekly testing for COVID-19 throughout the spring 2022 semester unless they have submitted valid proof of COVID-19 vaccination. This is an expansion of the October 1, 2021 vaccine or testing requirements for experiential learning and community engagement activities.
Public health officials emphasize that vaccination is the leading prevention strategy to protect individuals from COVID-19. Therefore, ISU continues to strongly encourage students, faculty, and staff to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and to share their vaccination status with the University by uploading proof of vaccination to a secure site. Vaccinations are critical to the safety of all Sycamores and to protect in-person operations in the coming months.
I am fully vaccinated; do I need to participate in weekly COVID-19 testing?
Students, faculty, and staff who are fully vaccinated do not need to participate in weekly COVID-19 testing if they have uploaded a copy of their COVID vaccination record.
Where can I upload my COVID-19 vaccination record?
To submit your proof of vaccination, log in to MyISU, click on the badge, “ISU COVID-19 Vaccination Record,” complete the survey, and upload a picture of the official documentation of vaccination. Official documentation refers to the vaccination card from the administrator of the vaccines or a vaccination certificate from the state immunization registry.
Who needs to get the COVID-19 test weekly?
This testing requirement applies to employees working on campus and students taking in-person classes, residing in campus housing, or utilizing campus services or facilities who are not fully vaccinated and /or have not shared with the University that they are fully vaccinated for COVID-19.
Do I need to provide proof of vaccination or weekly testing if I am enrolled in online or distance courses?
Most distance students are not required to adhere to the vaccine/testing requirements for the spring semester. These requirements ONLY apply to students taking courses on campus or those in clinical, internship or field experiences that involve a higher risk of transmission or working with vulnerable populations. All students, including distance students, who are in the clinical or fieldwork phase of the following programs must submit proof of vaccination or weekly test results:
- Athletic Training - Doctor of Athletic Training
- Athletic Training - M.S.
- Human Development and Family Sciences
- Massage Therapy Minor
- Nursing - All Programs
- Occupational Therapy
- P.E. All Grade - Teacher Preparation
- Physical Therapy - Doctor of Physical Therapy
- Physician Assistant
- Recreation Therapy
- Social Work - BSW and MSW
If you have any remaining questions about whether your online or distance program requires vaccination/testing, please contact your Department Chairperson.
When does testing begin?
Required testing for students starts the week of January 10, 2022; testing for employees will begin the week of January 3, 2022.
Is there a cost to weekly COVID-19 testing for students and/or employees?
Due to federal funding, testing is free to students and employees through May 20, 2022. The cost of the testing will be covered using federal dollars designed to help universities cope with the pandemic.
I’m unvaccinated; how will I receive information about testing?
You will receive a weekly email telling you that you must be tested within the week. It will include instructions on how to schedule a testing appointment on campus. Please make an appointment for testing immediately after receiving the email to have the most options for test times.
What type of COVID-19 test will be administered?
Is testing available on campus?
Yes. The University is partnering with One to One Health to provide weekly COVID tests on campus throughout the spring 2022 semester. More information is forthcoming.
Can I submit an exemption for testing or proof of vaccination?
No. Semester-long exemptions from either providing proof of vaccination or testing on a weekly basis are not available. Students, faculty, or staff are only excused from testing for a specific week if one of the following criteria is met:
- You are currently in quarantine as a close contact of someone with COVID-19.
- You have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 90 days. Positive test results must be submitted to Human Resources (employees) or the Office of Dean of Students (students).
- You are unavailable due to approved vacation or other university-approved leave.
What happens if I am unvaccinated and do not wish to participate in weekly COVID-19 testing?
Existing University policies and processes are in place and will be used for those who fail to comply with the requirements.
What happens if my weekly COVID-19 surveillance test is positive?
If your weekly test is positive, you will be contacted by a contact tracer from Human Resources (faculty and staff) or the Dean of Students Office (students). Please cooperate and answer the call of University contact tracers.
Should I isolate if I test positive for COVID-19?
Yes. Students and employees who test positive will be required to isolate and the University’s contact tracing process will be initiated.
Staff who are COVID-19-positive will be expected to use accrued sick or vacation (if available), or be placed on an unpaid leave status for the absence to cover any time off until they are released to return to work by Human Resources. Faculty members are expected to work with their academic department and Dean to determine how to best cover their responsibilities if they test positive and enter an isolation period.
I’m not vaccinated; what happens if I am identified as a close contact?
Unvaccinated students and employees who are identified as close contacts of an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19 will be required to quarantine. Contact tracing staff will communicate with all individuals identified as close contacts.
What if I have a medical condition or religious reason for not receiving the COVID vaccine?
Students and employees who have a medical condition or religious reason for not receiving the vaccine are not exempt from compliance with the weekly testing requirement.
I am an employee; will I be allowed time off to complete the weekly COVID-19 test?
Employees can complete the test during the work day if appointments are available. Otherwise, the test will need to be completed during personal time.
Can I take a take-home COVID-19 test to be in compliance with this requirement?
No, since take-home test results do not have your name or test date on them.
If I have previously tested COVID-19 positive and have antibodies, am I exempt from these requirements?
Students or employees who have tested positive for COVID-19 are exempt from the vaccine and testing requirement for 90-days starting from symptom onset or positive test date. If you believe you are eligible for all or some portion of the 90-day exemption, please e-mail ISU-ContactTracing@indstate.edu. If your test results are not currently in the ISU contact tracing system, you will be asked to provide documentation of your positive diagnosis. After the 90-day period has passed, you must start getting tested again.
I want to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. How can I do that?
ISU’s Student Health Center is offering to all students and employees the FDA-approved Pfizer vaccine for free on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. No appointment is needed. Vaccine sites are located throughout the state of Indiana. Information can be found on the Indiana Department of Health website.
Why should I get vaccinated for COVID-19?
COVID-19 vaccines are proven to be safe and effective, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They can keep you from spreading the virus and getting seriously ill even if you do get COVID-19. Read more about the benefits of getting a COVID-19 vaccine on the CDC website.
When am I considered fully vaccinated?
According to the CDC, you are fully COVID-19 vaccinated two weeks after the final dose. If you are not fully vaccinated, then you will be required to do COVID-19 testing.
Will booster shots affect the status of being "fully vaccinated" for ISU?
At this time, booster shots are not required to be considered fully vaccinated. ISU will continue to monitor public health guidance regarding booster shots.
University COVID-19 requirements are subject to change as more guidance becomes available from public health and government officials.