Health and Safety

  • All of us are responsible for protecting the health and safety of the IUP community during this pandemic. But, the more you know about signs and symptoms of COVID-19, how to prevent its spread, and where to seek health services, the safer we all can be.

    Students who will be on campus will receive a safety kit that includes hand sanitizer, masks, and other items to help keep them safe and healthy. Faculty and staff members who are on campus will also receive safety kits with appropriate personal protective equipment, so the personal risk to students and employees is minimized.

    Hand-sanitizer stations will be located in all buildings and in public areas, along with signs and markers to remind us to respect social distancing. And, our front-line custodial and maintenance staffs are trained to follow established national and state protocols to keep our facilities clean and sanitized. 

    Learn more about the plan and safety kits on the Returning to Campus page. Specific guidance is also available for students with health concerns.

    We also are prepared to employ other safety measures recommended by expert organizations like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Pennsylvania Department of Education, and the American College Health Association.

  • Preventing COVID-19

    (Strategy for Mitigation)

    The following CDC guidelines promote proper hygiene and help to prevent the spread of COVID-19:

    Wash Your Hands Often

    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place or after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing, or using the bathroom.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

    Avoid Close Contact

    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick, even inside your home. If possible, maintain as much distance as practical between the person who is sick and other household members.
    • Put distance (at least six feet) between you and other people outside of your home.

    Use Face Coverings

    Use a face covering indoors and when maintaining a safe distance from others is not possible.

    Clean and Disinfect

    Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.

    Thermometers

    Thermometers will be provided when required by a discipline for accreditation standards or governing body guidelines.

    Self-reporting: Symptoms and Exposure

    • Students are encouraged to self-report symptoms and exposure to the Health Service, 724-357-2550, for follow-up and guidance.
    • Employees are encouraged to self-report any COVID-19 symptoms, exposure, or testing to their supervisor for reporting to the Office of Human Resources.

    Individuals should not report to work, class, or clinical assignments and should not attend or participate in institution-sponsored activities or events if they are not feeling well.

    Any individual who is suspected of having or confirmed to have COVID-19 should self-isolate in accordance with current state and federal guidance.

    Individuals who have self-reported should not enter campus buildings—except for students, who should enter only the campus building designated as their place of isolation.

    Individuals are advised to consult with their medical provider about options for testing and necessary treatment.

    If You May Have Been Exposed to COVID-19

    If, within the previous 14 days, you have visited an area of high prevalence (domestic or international) or you know you have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19,

    • Employees should report this to their supervisor
    • Students should report this to the Health Service
    • You should self-quarantine in accordance with current state and federal guidance. (See the Research and Travel page about the need to self-quarantine before coming to the IUP campus or the Indiana area.)

    Testing

    Students

    IUP Health Service will provide testing options for students who have symptoms of COVID-19, who have been exposed to COVID-19, or who have needs that a provider has determined warrant testing.

    Students who are asymptomatic and have been told they are a close contact of a COVID-19 lab-confirmed positive individual will be given a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. While waiting for test results, students will be told to self-quarantine. Results from the PCR test will be received within 24 to 48 hours. Even if test results are negative, students who have been a close contact of a positive COVID-19 individual should self-quarantine for 14 days since the last time they were in close contact with that individual. A negative test result does not mean that individuals should end their quarantine period early.

    If a student has symptoms associated with COVID-19, the IUP Health Service will do a rapid antigen test on site. If the test is negative, health officials will do a PCR test.

    Employees

    Employees should contact their primary care physician regarding testing needs and options.

    Current COVID-19 testing options in Indiana County include Indiana Regional Medical Center's emergency department, MedExpress, and CVS MinuteClinic.

    Contact Tracing

    Contact tracing (getting information from and to people who may have been exposed to a positive COVID-19 individual) is essential to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. If you get a call from the Pennsylvania Department of Health or the IUP Health Service about contact tracing, please help! Your information can help prevent others from getting sick. Learn the difference between legitimate contact-tracing calls and scams.

    Exposure Notification App

    Pennsylvania now has a COVID-19 exposure notification mobile app, COVID Alert PA, available for download free through the Apple App store and Google Play store for users age 18 and older only. The app can detect if a user has had close contact with another app user who later tested positive for COVID-19. When that occurs, users will receive through their phones a notification and guidance on what to do next. Designed to be anonymous, the app does not track location or collect personal information. Learn more: “Wolf Administration Launches COVID Alert PA App.” Download the app: COVID Alert PA App.

    When There Is a Confirmed Positive Case

    When a COVID-19 test is confirmed positive at the Health Service:

    • The Pennsylvania Department of Health will be notified.
    • Contact tracing will be started.
    • Isolation needs will be determined.
    • If on-campus accommodations are needed, the Health Service and Housing staffs will coordinate efforts and determine those needs.
    • Students will be given resources and information pertaining to isolation, including the following:
    • The Health Service will make daily (Monday-Friday) phone calls to those in isolation. Telehealth visits will be available when needed.
    • The Health Service will coordinate discontinuing isolation with students.
    • If student testing is done at another location when the Health Service is closed, isolation accommodations can be coordinated by University Police and Housing.
    • IUP will report positive cases on this website while protecting the privacy of individuals.

    When a Student Should Isolate Because of a Positive COVID-19 Test

    • It is up to individual students if they want to notify their faculty member (1) that they have tested positive for COVID-19 and/or (2) that they are in self-isolation. As always, students, faculty members, and others should be practicing social distancing, wearing face coverings, and complying with appropriate hygiene recommendations. If they follow these practices, they would not be considered a close contact of a person who is COVID-19 positive, and they would not need to be concerned.
    • As is recommended when they need to miss class, students must let the faculty member know they will be absent and will need accommodations for online learning for a period of time.
    • If the IUP Health Service authorizes a student to discontinue isolation and return to class, the Health Service will provide this student with written authorization that can be shown to faculty members. This authorization will indicate that the student has completed the required time in isolation and is able to return to class. This is the case only when a student seeks care from the IUP Health Service. If a student seeks care from an off-campus provider, the student should obtain this authorization from that health care provider.
    • Students are not required to have a return-to-class note for all illnesses, but students are required to be fever free for 24 hours after having the flu.
    • If a faculty member requests a return-to-class note and the student was treated or seen in the IUP Health Service, the Health Service will give that student a return-to-class/work/practice note once the student is fever free.

    Quarantine/Isolation

    Self-isolation rooms in Delaney Hall will be offered to students who test positive and to symptomatic students who have an initial negative test and are waiting for test results. Any students testing positive for COVID-19 may remain in Delaney Hall for the CDC-recommended self-isolation period of 10 days plus one with no fever and reduction of symptoms since the onset of symptoms. Students may also choose to self-isolate at home for the recommended self-isolation period. IUP employees will self-isolate at home.

    Anyone determined to have had close contact with a positive COVID-19 case should quarantine according to CDC guidelines.

    Anyone feeling ill should not go out in public.

    • Students should call the Health Service, Monday through Friday during business hours. After hours and on weekends, students should call the IRMC emergency department or the Pennsylvania Department of Health for guidance.
    • Employees should contact their primary care physician or the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

    Anyone concerned about possible COVID-19 symptoms can use the self-checker on the CDC website for guidance on steps to take.

    Food Service during Quarantine

    Students in isolation or quarantine will be able to order food and beverages through the Grubhub app for delivery to their rooms. They will only need to open their suite door (while wearing a face covering) and take the food inside; they will not need to leave their rooms.

    Counseling Services

    The Counseling Center will offer telehealth appointments during the fall semester. Students who are unable to teleconference via their own equipment can arrange to reserve a room within the center to receive the services they require.

    Feeling Anxious or Upset?

    If you are feeling anxious or upset or have an immediate need for mental health support, the Counseling Center will take your call any time between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Call 724-357-2621 or email counseling-center@iup.edu to schedule an appointment during that time. After hours, please contact the Indiana/Armstrong Mental Health Crisis Line at 1-877-333-2470.

    Please note: If you have a remote counseling session scheduled, you must be inside Pennsylvania at the time of the session.

    If a friend or acquaintance is in distress, please reach out and share the resources we have in place to offer assistance. You can also contact a member of IUP’s Care Team of faculty and staff members. This group provides appropriate support to students in distress.

    Seeking Medical Care

    The IUP Health Service, located in the Center for Health and Well-Being, Suites on Maple East, is open Monday through Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for appointments only.

    Walk-in visits are discouraged, but same-day appointments can be made by calling 724-357-2550. Students who have questions or want to make an appointment can also contact health-inquiry@iup.edu. If you need immediate medical attention, call 9-1-1 or go to the emergency room at Indiana Regional Medical Center.

    Coordination with Local Public Health Officials

    The Pennsylvania Department of Health Indiana County State Health Center (724-357-2995) is the first point of contact for coordination and guidance regarding all COVID-19 concerns. For questions or concerns that cannot wait until the next business day, call 1-877-PA-HEALTH. The Pennsylvania Department of Health will work with the Bureau of Epidemiology staff to provide guidance on isolation, contact identification, quarantine, cleaning, or any other concerns.

    IUP leadership is communicating and coordinating efforts with Indiana County health agencies to keep IUP and the community at large informed and protected during the pandemic. President Michael Driscoll will represent IUP on a county planning task force committed to working together to make the best choices for the community.