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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions about IU's response to coronavirus.

COVID-19 vaccine requirement

Yes. A COVID-19 vaccine or approved exemption is required at all IU campuses, including IUPUI, all regional campuses, IUPUC and IU Fort Wayne. This requirement applies to all students, faculty and staff at all IU campuses.

All students, faculty and staff at all IU campuses are required to get a COVID-19 vaccine. 

The only groups currently automatically exempt from the COVID-19 vaccine requirement are students and instructors in the Advance College Project and IU retirees.

Volunteer faculty (sometimes described as Academic no-pay) who work with students on- or off-campus, are required to be vaccinated and use IU’s COVID-19 vaccine report form to attest that they are vaccinated.

All IU learners completing educational rotations or assignments off-premises are obligated to follow the host facilities’ rules and practices. Learner compliance with host health facility rules and health and safety regulations and requirements is a fundamental expectation. Failure to comply jeopardizes placement, progression, graduation, and even employment (where applicable).

If an IU learner does not meet the requirements of the host health facility, then they cannot be (or continue to be) assigned there. While IU will make a reasonable effort to find alternative placement, it cannot guarantee it. Failure to meet host facility rules could result in significant delays or failure to meet IU program requirements, or meeting them in a timeframe required by the IU unit, and can result in discharge or dismissal from the host facility, as well as IU.

Each summer camp at IU has its own protocol as far as vaccination, exemptions, testing, etc. Individuals participating in these camps should reach out to their program/camp leader for additional information on COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

We understand that students, scholars, faculty and staff arriving from an international location may not have access to a COVID-19 vaccine in their current location and may not be able to be fully vaccinated before arriving on campus.

Individuals in this situation should plan to receive a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible upon their arrival in the U.S.

You can continue to participate in orientation, classes and other activities as you work toward becoming fully vaccinated. 

As long as a COVID-19 vaccine has been authorized by the FDA and/or recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO), it will meet IU’s COVID-19 vaccine requirement. If the vaccine you received is not one authorized/recommended by either of these organizations, you’ll need to receive one that is. There are no known safety issues at this time with receiving an FDA-authorized vaccine after receiving one that has not yet been authorized/recommended.

If you arrive on campus without being fully vaccinated (all doses of the vaccine, plus two weeks from the last dose), you will need to get your vaccine when you arrive on campus or request an exemption.

All students, faculty and staff will need to report their vaccine using IU’s COVID-19 vaccine self report form. As part of this process, you will attest to the fact that you are fully vaccinated.

The online exemption request form includes factors such as medical exemptions with physician documentation, religious exemptions, and those in online-only programs.

Approved exemptions will be extremely limited and fall into one of the below categories:

  1. Religious exemptions per Indiana state law.
  2. Medical exemptions with documentation from your provider of an allergy to the COVID-19 vaccines or their components.
  3. Medical deferrals for the following circumstances with a note from your provider:
    1. Active pregnancy or active breastfeeding only if the provider is requesting an exemption. The exemption lasts only until you're no longer actively pregnant or actively breastfeeding. Pregnancy and breastfeeding are not contraindications for vaccination.
    2. Immunocompromised individuals only with provider request for an exemption and only for those who have recent (within the past 3-6 months) hematopoietic or solid organ transplant, or on active treatment with Rituximab within the past 3-6 months.
    3. Have received COVID-specific monoclonal antibodies in the past 90 days.
  4. An online program exemption for students who are in a 100% online program with no on-campus component. This must be an online program; not simply taking all online classes.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recognize severe allergies to the vaccine or its ingredients or treatment with Rituximab (Rituxan) within the last 3-6 months as medical conditions which are contraindicated for the COVID-19 vaccine. In addition, patients who have had an organ transplant and are on immunosuppressive therapy are also exempted. Your physician will need to complete the IU Medical Exemption template stating that you have the condition. Indiana University will also provide a medical exemption if your treating physician provides a medical opinion that the COVID-19 vaccine is contraindicated for you.

If you are pregnant or a nursing mother or if you have had COVID-19 within the last 90 days, you will be granted a medical deferral. Your physician will need to complete the IU Medical Exemption template to receive a medical deferral for any of these conditions.

As a matter of equity for all employees and faculty, there is no online program exemption for faculty or staff working remotely.

The online exemption request form is accessible via one.iu.edu and iu.edu/covid. We strongly encourage you to get the COVID-19 vaccine, however. Exemptions for this requirement will be limited to medical exemptions, religious exemptions, and those in online-only programs with no on-campus component.

Simply taking all online classes is not cause for being exempt from this requirement. You must be in an online-only program with no on-campus component to request an exemption. We strongly encourage all students, whether taking classes on campus or online, to get a COVID-19 vaccine for both your health and safety as well as the health and safety of those around you.

Hoosier Link students living on campus will need to meet the COVID-19 vaccine requirement. Those living off campus will need to meet the requirement before their first semester at IU.

You should report your vaccination to IU through the secure COVID-19 vaccine report form. You will attest to the fact that you are fully vaccinated and submit the form.

Students may choose to report their booster and receive a $20 Crimson cash incentive.

Anyone eligible should get a booster as soon as possible. You're eligible for a booster if you are at least 5 years old and received your last dose of Pfizer or Moderna at least five months ago or your dose of Johnson & Johnson at least two months ago.

Once you’ve created your IU email address, you’ll have access to IU’s COVID-19 vaccine report form. You will attest to the fact that you are fully vaccinated and submit the form.

We will collect information, which you voluntarily provide through a secure, CAS-authenticated form, concerning your COVID-19 vaccination. IU will use this information solely in connection with our response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We will not share your information with other entities or organizations, except as needed for public health purposes in connection with our response to the pandemic, when legally required to do so, at the request of governmental authorities to conduct an investigation, to verify compliance with our policies and applicable laws, or to protect against misuse or unauthorized use of your information. Read the full privacy notice.

You can view your vaccine report and status or exemption request through IU's COVID-19 Vaccine Reporting page.

IU’s vaccine requirement is independent of any policies implemented by other universities. If you are an IU student, faculty or staff member, you will need to get the COVID-19 vaccine to meet IU’s requirement.

Legal counsel for Indiana University has advised that the university can legally require vaccination with the COVID-19 vaccine even though, as of this date, the vaccines have received approval from the FDA through the Emergency Use Authorization process.

State law in Indiana already requires that all public university students must be vaccinated against diphtheria, tetanus, measles, mumps, rubella, and meningitis, and allows universities to require other vaccines as deemed necessary. Unless a student qualifies for a medical or religious exemption as prescribed by law, public universities are prohibited from enrolling students who have not been vaccinated for these six diseases, and many campuses and universities around the state may require more than just these six. IU’s COVID-19 vaccination requirement is not unique in this regard; it is simply another in a list of required vaccinations for enrollment with the same sort of exemptions being granted.

Review IU's policy for the management of infectious and communicable disease for more information on required immunizations.

You will get a vaccination card with your name and shot information at your first appointment. Make sure you take this card with you when you leave, and keep it in a safe place where you won't lose it. We recommend that you take a photo of your vaccination card with your smartphone for your personal records.

If you're getting a two-dose vaccine, bring your vaccination card back to your second appointment. The vaccination site will update your card with the date you are fully protected after you have gotten your second shot.

If you lose your vaccination card, you can go to the state of Indiana's website and select the "Indiana Vaccination Portal" to obtain your vaccination certificate. If you don't already have an Access Indiana account, you will need to create one.

You can also return to your vaccination site and explain your situation to request a new vaccination card.

If you lose your vaccination card and were vaccinated in Indiana, you can go to the state of Indiana's website and select the "Indiana Vaccination Portal" to obtain your vaccination certificate. If you don't already have an Access Indiana account, you will need to create one.

You can also return to your vaccination site and explain your situation to request a new vaccination card.

COVID-19 boosters

Booster doses are not currently required as part of IU’s COVID-19 vaccine policy.

You do not have to report your booster dose to IU. Getting and reporting a booster is voluntary.

  1. To report your booster dose, visit IU’s COVID-19 vaccine reporting form and click on Report your booster. You will need to have your CDC vaccination card with you and have already reported your original vaccination series to IU.
  2. Confirm your birthdate and click Proceed.
  3. In the COVID-19 vaccination card upload box, click the green upload button. You will need to upload a photo of your CDC vaccine card showing that you received a booster. Click select file and add the photo of your card.
  4. Click the green button that says Looks good.
  5. In the COVID-19 vaccine history box, click the green add immunization button and add the date you received your booster. From the drop down menu, select which vaccine you received. In most cases, it will be either Moderna CoVmRNA (COVID19 Moderna mRNA) or Pfizer CoVmRNA (COVID19 Pfizer mRNA-LNP spike).
  6. Click Save.
  7. Click done.

It takes 5-7 days for your booster information to be verified. Once your information is verified, you’ll be able to view your completed booster dose report on the COVID-19 vaccine reporting form. Students will receive the $20 Crimson cash incentive following verification of their booster.

Students will receive $20 in Crimson cash for reporting their booster dose via IU’s COVID-19 vaccine reporting form. It takes 5-7 days for the incentive to be verified and the Crimson cash to be added to your card. You can check your balance at any time.

Testing for COVID-19

Free antigen (rapid) tests are available for students, faculty and staff on all IU campuses. PCR tests are also available for free for students, faculty and staff on the IU Bloomington and IUPUI campuses.

In addition, at-home, rapid tests are available at many retail pharmacies and other stores like Wal-Mart, Target and Meijer. Each household can also order free COVID tests from the U.S. government.

No. Having COVID-19 antibodies or receiving a COVID-19 vaccine does not increase your likelihood of testing positive for the virus.

The CDC recommends taking two rapid antigen tests 48 hours apart following day 5 of isolation. You do not need to report the results of these tests to IU.

If the test is negative, your symptoms are getting better and you've been fever-free for 24 hours without medication, you can end your isolation after day 5.

If the test is positive, it's recommended you stay in isolation until you test negative.

Free antigen (rapid) tests are available for students, faculty and staff on all IU campuses. PCR tests are also available for free for students, faculty and staff on the IU Bloomington and IUPUI campuses.

For those campuses with on-campus health centers, medical appointments for symptomatic testing will continue to be available as part of a provider visit.

You can search for testing sites on the Indiana Department of Health website, which includes community sites, health care provider sites and retail sites.

It is very unlikely to have a false positive result on diagnostic tests for COVID-19 (Antigen testing and PCR). It is more likely that you received a false negative on your second test. Regardless of the results of any test following a positive test, you should follow the recommendations for isolation based on the positive test result.  Since the levels of the virus can fluctuate day by day, a negative test after a positive does not adequately predict lack of infectiousness.

Isolation, exposure to COVID-19

IU continues to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines when it comes to isolation. Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 must isolate away from others for five days (day 0 is the day of the positive test or when symptoms began). As long as the individual has been fever-free for 24 hours and symptoms have improved or subsided, on day 6, they may go back to their normal routine while masking around others. Individuals should wear a mask until they test negative on two antigen tests 48 hours apart or on day 10 following exposure.

The CDC no longer recommends quarantining following exposure for any individuals. If exposed to someone with COVID-19, all students, faculty and staff, regardless of vaccination status, should wear a mask around others for 10 days following the exposure and seek a test on day 5 or sooner if you develop symptoms. You do not need to report being exposed to COVID-19 to IU.

For COVID-19, a close contact is defined as an individual who has been within 6 feet of an infected person for a total of 15 minutes cumulatively over 24 hours, starting from 48 hours before illness onset until the time the patient is isolated (if the patient with COVID-19 had symptoms) OR starting 48 hours before the patient tested positive for COVID-19 (if the patient with COVID-19 did not have any symptoms). 

This definition holds whether either individual was vaccinated or not and wearing a mask or not.

You should wear a mask when around others for 10 days and get tested 5 days after your exposure. If your test is negative and you do not have COVID-19 symptoms, you can continue with your normal routine. You do not need to quarantine but should monitor your health to ensure you don't develop any symptoms.

After day 5 (day 0 is the day of the positive test or when symptoms began), you may end your isolation if your symptoms are getting better and you've been fever-free for 24 hours without medication.

You should wear a mask when around others until you test negative on two antigen tests 48 hours apart or on day 10 following exposure. You do not need to report these test results to IU.

As a public health measure, it's recommended you use the day of your positive test as day 0.

Your isolation will last at least 5 days. As long as your symptoms are getting better and you’ve been fever-free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medicine, on day 6, you can go back to a normal routine with masking in all situations. The CDC recommends that you test negative with an antigen test (rapid or home test) on day 5, although it’s not required by IU. If you test positive or are still sick, please continue to isolate.

Here’s an example…

Monday: received positive test (day 0)
Tuesday: day 1 (isolation)
Wednesday: day 2 (isolation)
Thursday: day 3 (isolation)
Friday: day 4 (isolation)
Saturday: day 5 (isolation)

End isolation?

  • My symptoms are getting better.
  • I have been fever-free for 24 hours with no medication.
  • I tested negative on a rapid antigen test. (recommended)

If you answer yes to all of the above, you can leave isolation after day 5. Wear a mask when around others and continue to monitor any remaining symptoms on days 6-10.

If you answered no to any of the above, continue isolation.

Sunday: day 6 
Monday: day 7 
Tuesday: day 8
Wednesday: day 9
Thursday: day 10

Yes, you do need to notify IU if you have tested positive. After you complete the self-report form, you'll receive isolation instructions to your IU email account.

As long as you don’t have any symptoms, you can continue with your normal routine. If your household member’s test is positive, they should isolate for at least five days away from you and others in the household. The CDC recommends you mask around others for 10 days from your housemate's positive test and test yourself on day 5 whether or not you have any symptoms.

If you develop symptoms, however, isolate at home and get tested.

Masks

Following current state and county public health guidance, masks are optional on all IU campuses.

Classrooms, residence halls, dining spaces, building common areas and IU Athletics venues are all examples of indoor spaces where mask use is optional.

Masks will continue to be required in health care settings (including COVID-19 testing locations), in IU childcare facilities, and in some laboratories where hazard assessments have identified them as proper personal protective equipment (PPE).

Different types of masks provide different levels of protection—a surgical mask is better than cloth; a KN95 is better than surgical.

Masks worn properly should:

  • fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
  • completely cover the nose and mouth
  • be secured with ties or ear loops
  • allow for breathing without restriction
  • cloth masks should include multiple layers of fabric and be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape

Yes, masks will be available in the entryways of campus buildings.

Find more information here on ordering PPE, including surgical masks. 

Mask use is optional on IU campuses, including classrooms. While many instructors may opt to continue wearing a mask, masks are not required in classrooms.

Masks are optional at IU, including offices. If you are uncomfortable meeting in a small space, consider moving your discussion to a larger room or meet virtually.

Masks are optional for all, regardless of vaccination status, on all IU campuses.

Yes, you can ask individuals around you if they would mind wearing a mask while in your presence. You cannot require them to do so. Individuals may feel free to make the choice about wearing a mask or not. There are no consequences for not wearing a mask or declining to mask when asked.

Masks are optional. If someone asks you to mask, you can consider the request and make your own decision. We all need to be respectful of each individual's choices regarding masking. There are no consequences for not wearing a mask for declining to mask when asked.