Campus Health and Safety

  • Students maintaining social distance while talking
  • Update on IUP’s fall 2021 plans to return to face-to-face instructions.

    COVID-19 Vaccination Information

    IUP, along with all universities in the State System of Higher Education, does not require COVID-19 vaccinations for students or for employees.

    We continue to share on our website Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf’s recommendation that all college and university students receive a vaccine.

    Our announced plans for the fall semester are for classes and events to be held in person; we will continue to monitor the situation and follow the advice and recommendations of the Pennsylvania Department of Health related to mitigation techniques that are needed to keep our IUP community safe and well.

    We will announce any new information on our website and via email to students and employees.

    Members of the IUP community are encouraged to consult with their physician on personal health issues, including vaccinations.

    Recent Pennsylvania Department of Health guidelines for COVID-19 vaccinations. Information especially relevant to IUP employees and students includes:

    Any member of the IUP community who is interested and in need of a vaccination is encouraged to work with their physician to access existing resources available within their respective community.

    Locally, Indiana Regional Medical Center offers COVID-19 vaccine appointments to eligible individuals in the community. Visit the IRMC Vaccine website to learn more and schedule your appointment. 

    In addition, Walmart is offering free vaccines for eligible members of the community in both Blairsville and Indiana. Visit the Walmart website to schedule your appointment.

    Campus Safety Precautions

    All of us are responsible for protecting the health and safety of the IUP community during this pandemic. On this page, you will find the safety precautions taken on IUP's campus in light of COVID-19, along with important guidance on face coverings and classroom safety.

    Hand-sanitizer stations and temperature check kiosks are 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.

    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.

    Face Coverings

    Masks or other face coverings must be worn by all employees, students, and visitors when in buildings and vehicles owned or leased by IUP.

    Allowable exceptions include the following:

    • When working in a private office or vehicle, alone;
    • When in one’s own personal residential unit;
    • When wearing a face covering creates a medical risk to the individual (evidenced by medical documentation);
    • When wearing a face covering creates a safety hazard.

    Social distancing (maintaining a minimum distance of six feet between you and others) is encouraged whenever possible and required when a face covering cannot be worn.

    When outside, face coverings are required when social distancing (maintaining a minimum distance of six feet between you and others) is not possible.

    IUP students and employees can learn more about IUP's approach to enforcing the requirement on our General Guidance page. Campus police should not be called to enforce rule violations.


    Students who indicate they cannot wear a face covering and, therefore, that they need a reasonable accommodation for the IUP face-covering policy should contact the Department for Disability Access and Advising, Students will need to provide documentation of disability and certification of the inability to wear a mask or other face covering from a physician or another appropriate medical provider. The Department for Disability Access and Advising will evaluate the information, issue an accommodation letter for the student, and copy the Health Service. The student can then present the letter on campus.

    The Department for Disability Access and Advising will ask about the student's ability to wear an alternative, such as a face shield, which the department can provide.

    If the student is deemed not to have a disabling condition but, instead, to have a short-term medical issue disallowing face coverings, the student should be directed to contact the Health Service for options. Alternatively, the student can elect to take the class online, if feasible.

    Face coverings are required in the classroom. Faculty will be encouraged to include that information in class syllabi.


    Employees who are required to work on campus and who are unable to wear a mask because of a medical concern or safety hazard should contact Anna Shively,, in Human Resources.

    Safety Kits and Protective Equipment

    Students and employees received individual safety kits when returning to campus for the semester. In addition, Central Stores has a strong supply of personal protective equipment and other COVID-19 related safety items.

    The list of items and information about ordering additional personal protective equipment is available on the Central Stores site. Each department should delegate one person to collect and submit a reservation for that department’s needs.

    COVID-19 Classroom Safety

    For those classes that will be held face-to-face at IUP campuses and centers, social-distancing recommendations will be followed.

    Class Structure

    Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many lecture classes are following a hybrid model, which means students are divided into groups that rotate between being physically present in the classroom and being connected with the class via Zoom or similar technology. Classroom occupancy has been reduced to approximately one-third the normal occupancy, depending on the room’s configuration, to maintain a distance of six feet between students.

    When possible, classes have been moved to rooms large enough to allow all students to attend together while following social-distancing guidelines.

    Students who wish to complete all components of a hybrid class remotely are allowed to do so, unless that is not possible within the program's requirements. These students should contact their department chair with questions.

    Courses already scheduled for online delivery will continue in that mode. If that's an option you prefer, please work with your faculty advisor to select the right courses for you.

    During the beginning of the semester, faculty members will finalize arrangements for your class structure and clearly communicate what you are to do. Expectations related to health and safety guidelines will be publicized widely, including on class syllabi. (Suggested wording for syllabi about safety measures, hybrid class structure, Zoom etiquette, and other topics was made available to faculty members.) Support for students with specific needs related to online learning or to learning in a hybrid format is available through IUP’s Department for Disability Access and Advising.

    More information about the academic calendar, courses, and support for students can be found on the Academic Information and Resources page.

    Students with Health Concerns

    If you are a student who has the option of learning face-to-face but you have health issues or you live with a person at greater risk of complications from COVID-19, you may wish to take as many of your courses as possible online.

    Options are available for students to receive instruction through distance learning. The hybrid classes that allow for part-time, in-person instruction can be easily shifted to real-time classes that are fully online. In addition, new course sections that are entirely online are being added to the class schedule.

    Of course, not all courses or experiences can be offered online. For example, state regulations prevent some nursing coursework from being completed remotely.

    Because every student’s situation may be different, your faculty members will be your best source of information and advice. Please work with them to determine how best to continue your coursework while maintaining your health and safety.

    The Department for Disability Access and Advising is also available to discuss accommodations for your online learning.

    Sanitizing Classrooms

    To help you feel more comfortable in the classroom, cleaning supplies are available so that you can sanitize your seat and desk. We ask that students and faculty members sanitize their areas when they leave the classroom. Course syllabi will reflect these new student and faculty responsibilities.

    We will continue to follow rigorous cleaning protocols and guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the state for common and high traffic areas, such as hallways, elevators, and restrooms, to keep buildings safe. Employees have been trained on these processes.

    Classroom space can be used for extracurricular activities only through an approval process designed to keep everyone safe.

    Teaching Podiums

    Highly visible tape has been used to mark appropriate distancing from the podium in classrooms.

    If faculty members are uncomfortable wearing just a mask, they can check with their dean's office about wearing a face shield instead.

    Classroom Seating

    Stickers have been placed on seats that students can use. In some rooms, seats not designated for use have been taped off and/or set aside.

    Modifications to Buildings and Spaces

    Signs have been placed at the entrances of all buildings and throughout the buildings reminding people to wear face coverings.

    Hallways have been equipped with signage reminding people to maintain a safe distance from others. Where feasible, one-way traffic flow is indicated and “stay-in-your-lane” traffic-flow markers with directional arrows are displayed.

    Elevators are limited to three riders per trip, with priority given to students, faculty members, or staff members who are handicapped. Appropriate signage is posted at each elevator.

    Cleaning and Sanitation

    Cleaning priority is given to high-touch surfaces (door handles, elevator buttons, bathroom stalls, stair railings, etc.).


    Hand dryers in restrooms have been disconnected or taped off.

    Public Labs and Spaces

    In public computer labs, alternating computers have been made inactive, and chairs at those stations have been removed or labeled. These spaces have been stocked with cleaning supplies, and users will be responsible for wiping off equipment when work is completed.

    Disinfectant and hand sanitizer should be left in each designated meeting area, and individuals are encouraged to wipe down all surfaces and equipment utilized. Furniture in student seating areas has been spaced apart, with accompanying signage to encourage social distancing.

    Building Use

    All interactions in non-classroom facilities must follow up-to-date Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, commonwealth, and State System guidelines for social distancing and group gatherings.

    Occupancy limits will be determined by IUP's Office of Engineering and Construction according to current social-distancing guidelines on an ongoing basis.

    A limited number of facilities and rooms have been identified for essential meeting activities, allowing for focused IUP building sanitization efforts.

    Academic Buildings

    The use of academic buildings has been reserved for classes and department daily work activities only, unless otherwise approved as a meeting space for prescheduled activities. Classroom areas should not be utilized for elective activities during off-hour periods, so the focus can remain on providing a safe environment for face-to-face classroom activities.

    Department offices should limit in-person contact with students, faculty and staff members, and visitors. Barriers should be installed as needed. Office hours and advising should be conducted virtually.


    Pay-by-space machines are cleaned at the beginning of each day’s shift by parking security officers as part of a daily maintenance check. The Passport Pay-by-Phone app has made no-contact payment available.

    IndiGO Bus

    IndiGO continues to operate the campus shuttle route according to current social-distancing guidelines, reducing bus occupancy, spreading out seating, and requiring riders to wear masks. All active students with an I-Card will continue to have free IndiGO bus service.

    Guidance for IUP Employees

    When possible and practical, IUP employees are encouraged to work remotely to limit the number of people on site.

    The guidelines below will assist managers in overseeing employees' return to campus. This information—which follows guidelines established by the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Pennsylvania Department of Education, and State System—enables effective operations and employees’ safe return when in-person operation is required.

    1. Meetings should be virtual when possible. Keep attendance at essential in-person meetings, so contact tracing can be done, if needed.
      • If in-person meetings must be held, remove or redistribute chairs or include signage to ensure proper social distancing.
      • Remove commonly touched items (e.g. pens, tape, white board markers).
    2. Provide materials for self-sanitization of workspaces.
    3. Remove guest chairs if office sizes do not allow proper social distancing, or add signage to indicate where individuals can sit.
    4. Stagger employee breaks and meal periods to limit the number of people in communal spaces at one time. Supervisors can alter meal periods and breaks to accommodate social distancing.
      • In communal areas, employees should try to avoid direct contact with hard surfaces, including refrigerators, microwaves, coffee pots, water coolers/fountains, chairs, tables, etc. Employees are encouraged to use paper towels when touching surfaces and to use wipes to disinfect before and after every use.

    High-Risk Employees

    Individual employees with health conditions that might place them at high risk for severe illness from COVID-19, as defined under CDC guidance, may request a flexible work assignment. Employees wishing to make such a request should follow the process outlined on the Human Resources website.

    Faculty Office Visits

    • Faculty members who want to make use of their office should coordinate their visits with their chair, who will maintain a schedule to ensure that offices are limited to no more than 50 percent normal occupancy at any time, as directed in the employee information, above.
    • Chairs must communicate to faculty members that, to prevent overcrowding and maintain safety, unscheduled office visits are not allowed.
    • These department schedules will be made available in advance on a weekly basis to the dean or designee.
    • Deans or their designees will communicate these schedules to Facilities to ensure that any needed changes to cleaning schedules can be accommodated.
    • When entering university buildings, faculty members should follow all safety guidelines indicated on this page.

    Preventing COVID-19

    (Strategy for Mitigation)

    The following are requirements from the CDC for proper hygiene and preventing 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 outdoors.

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

    Communication Plan

    IUP uses a digital-first strategy that provides all of our audiences a clear overview of what to expect in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, including general guidelines to keep the community safe.

    Overall methods of communicating include this website, the MyIUP student portal, electronic newsletters, IUP social media channels, email, videos, printed materials and packets, and campus signage.

    We will report confirmed student cases of COVID-19 via our COVID-19 Dashboard. The dashboard notes if the student is an on-campus or off-campus resident.

    Information about testing and quarantine procedures are found on the Testing and Positive Cases page.

    Student Communication Methods

    Students receive regular information and updates through MyIUP, the IUP Mobile app, their IUP email address, electronic newsletters, and IUP social media accounts. Students also received an informational flier in their fall 2020 and spring 2021 safety kits.

    Parent Communication Methods

    Information and updates will be available via the parent newsletter and this website.

    Employee Communication Methods

    Employees receive information through the IUP Now electronic newsletter, email, communications from Human Resources, and this website.

    Community Collaboration

    IUP and Indiana County leadership are collaborating on communication campaigns to promote responsible behavior that protects the health and safety of the entire county and of students’ home communities.

    Contingency Communication Plan

    If needed, emergency notifications will be sent through the Everbridge system, which includes text messages, phone calls, and emails. If you are not registered for these emergency notifications, you can do so online.

    Emergency messages will also be shared on the IUP website (alert banner on the home page, updates to this site, news item), through MyIUP announcements for students, and on IUP social media channels.

    If necessary, messages will be sent to additional audiences outside of the campus community, including alumni, friends, and prospective students.

    This site will have the most recent and current information.