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coronavirus information for the Butler Community
Covid-19 Information for the Butler Community

Health & Safety Practices FAQs

Please click on the questions below to find the responses.

What is COVID-19 surveillance testing for students and do I have to do it?

Beginning Wednesday, February 3, and throughout the spring 2021 semester, Butler University will conduct mandatory COVID-19 surveillance testing for asymptomatic undergraduate students—allowing us to better understand the prevalence of COVID-19 on our campus and further inform our decision-making to mitigate the spread of the virus. 

Are these tests mandatory?

Is anyone exempt from testing?
Graduate students, students receiving remote instruction, student-athletes who participate in the athletic department’s testing program, and students who tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 90 days are exempt from surveillance testing.

How often will I be tested this semester?
You will be tested once every three weeks.

How do I sign up to be tested?
You should log on now to the Health Portal to schedule your first appointment. We will open the appointment calendar in three-week increments; students will be required to return to the Health Portal to schedule future tests once every three weeks throughout the semester. We will send periodic emails to remind students to schedule appointments every three weeks. 

What if I don’t get tested every three weeks?
Students who fail to schedule and complete their test within a three-week window will receive a Yellow “Overdue” badge status (similar to failing to comply with daily health surveys), and their access to common areas on campus (including dining halls, the library, the Health and Recreation Complex (HRC), and Hinkle Fieldhouse) will be restricted. Faculty will also have the option of requesting to see your badge status before allowing you into the classroom.

How do I get the results of my test?
Students can access test results by logging on to the Butler Health Portal at and clicking on “View My Lab Results.” Students who receive a negative test result will maintain their Green badge status, so long as they continue to complete their daily health survey.

What if I test positive for COVID-19?
Students who receive a positive test will be required to isolate for 10 days, either at their permanent residence or Ross Hall. Students who test positive will be exempt from surveillance testing for 90 days. For more information about isolations and quarantine protocols, please visit

Where do I go to get tested?
All surveillance testing this semester will occur in the Fairview Community Room. This space is conducive for testing for several reasons:

  • It has its own HVAC system and high ceilings, promoting appropriate airflow.
  • It has separate entry/exit points to eliminate the possibility of cross-traffic contamination.
  • It is large enough to safely distance 50+ students at a given time.
  • It is separated from the residential areas of the building with the capability to completely restrict access except for testing.
  • It is located in the heart of campus, easily accessible by all students, and in close proximity to Health Services.

Do I have to continue submitting daily health surveys?
Yes. To further promote the health and safety of our campus community, students are required to complete daily health surveys (COVID-19 symptom self-assessments) via:

All students agreed to submit daily health surveys at the start of the semester as part of their Student Commitment. It is imperative for the health and safety of our campus that you are truthful in reporting symptoms via the daily health survey, as well as revealing to contact tracers all persons with whom you have had close contact. Failing to submit truthful daily health surveys is not only a threat to the health and safety of our campus, it is a violation of student conduct policy and will result in disciplinary action.

What do the different color badges mean?

  • Green—You have completed the daily health survey and all mandatory tests, and you are cleared for campus activity.
  • Yellow—You are in Overdue status, and must complete either the daily health survey or a mandatory test to be cleared for campus activity. You will NOT be granted entry access and will be directed to complete a daily health screen or scheduled test, and contact Health Services for further instructions (Monday–Friday, 8:30 AM–4:30 PM). After hours, you should email, and you will be provided the link/QR Code to order meals until you can speak with Health Services to resolve any badge error issues.
  • Orange—Your status is Quarantine, and you will NOT be granted entry access. You should contact Health Services for further instructions (Monday–Friday, 8:30 AM–4:30 PM). After hours, you should email, and you will be provided the link/QR Code to order meals until you can speak with Health Services to resolve any badge error issues. 
  • Red—Your status is Isolation, and you will NOT be granted entry access. You should contact Health Services immediately for further instructions (Monday–Friday, 8:30 AM–4:30 PM). After hours, you should email, and you will be provided the link/QR Code to order meals until you can speak with Health Services to resolve any badge error issues.
  • Blue—Your screening badge is not enabled. You will need to contact Health Services (Monday–Friday, 8:30 AM–4:30 PM) to get the badge enabled, and then you will need to complete your daily health survey. You can also email to request badge enablement. After hours, you will be provided the link/QR Code to order meals until your badge is enabled and daily health screen completed.

What does Symptomatic Isolation mean? (updated 12/22)

Symptomatic isolation is used if you are exhibiting a COVID-19 symptom (or symptoms). You have been evaluated by Butler University medical provider and are awaiting your test result, or have an appointment scheduled with Health Services. Contact tracing will not be performed until you are confirmed positive.

Please visit the Isolation Information on the Health Services website to view the steps to follow.

I've been told I need to quarantine. What does that mean? (updated 12/22)

Quarantine means you have a known exposure to a person with COVID-19 and have been instructed by a medical provider or Butler contract tracer to quarantine.

Please visit the Quarantine FAQs on the Health Services website to view the steps to follow.

How will Butler help ensure that students adhere to the health & safety plan? (rev 9/2)

Personal responsibility and care for others are critical to the success of the University’s plan. As such, we have developed the Student Commitment for Personal and Community Well-Being, which outlines our behavioral expectations, both in and out of the classroom, for all Butler students. Students are required to complete an online COVID-19 training module in Canvas covering health and safety expectations, prior to the start of classes. Additionally, we will have ongoing communications to educate, promote, and reinforce health and safety expectations. 

Faculty and administrators have the authority to oversee best health practices. For instance, face masks are required in all public settings on campus, including in classrooms. Faculty will include a statement in their syllabi clarifying that facial masks are required in academic settings, and students will be asked to leave class if they are not wearing one correctly. 

Students who choose to violate the Student Commitment for Personal and Community Well-being will be subject to the conduct process. The process outlined in the Student Code of Conduct will be followed, and we have every intention of holding students accountable to the behavioral expectations we have set forth and that students have agreed to. Utilize the COVID Concern reporting feature to alert University staff to violations of the Student Commitment so they can be addressed appropriately.



What is Butler’s policy on wearing masks? (rev 8/25)

Face masks* are required when in the presence of other people, regardless of distance, both inside and outside. 

Appropriate masks should, at a minimum, include the following:

  • Fit snugly against the side of the face and cover the nose and mouth 
  • Include multiple layers of tightly-woven (enough that light cannot easily be seen through it) fabric 
  • Allow for breathing without restriction
  • Be able to be laundered and machine-dried without damage or change to shape and fit

Masks with exhalation valves are prohibited due to the fact they allow individuals to exhale air directly into their surroundings.

Face masks are generally not required in these situations: 

  • While in your room or individual housing unit, either alone or with your roommates/suitemates. 
  • While eating and six feet away from others

Because masks are required in all required spaces, we expect students not to eat or drink during class as doing so results in partial or full removal of a face mask. Students may, however, exit the classroom and eat or drink in the hallway as long as they are able to be distanced from others. If distancing in the hallway is not possible, they should leave the building to eat and drink. 

Further detail about the face mask requirement is available in the Personal Health and Safety Practices portions of the plan.

* Students who wish to discuss the face mask requirement, as it relates to a disability, should contact Student Disability Services by email at or by phone at 317-940-9308. 

What is the best way to use and care for my face mask? (add 8/24)

The following DOs and DON’Ts will help you maintain proper mask use and hygiene.


  • Clean your hands before and after touching your mask
  • Try to only touch your mask by the straps or loops
  • Inspect the mask for damage or dirt
  • Adjust the mask to fit your face snugly 
  • Cover your mouth, nose, and chin
  • Avoid touching the mask after you’ve put it on
  • Store the mask in a clean, breathable container
  • Wash your mask with soap or detergent at least once a day


  • Use a mask that is dirty, wet or damaged
  • Share your mask with others
  • Use a mask that is difficult to breathe through
  • Wear your mask loosely
  • Wear your mask under your nose
  • Uncover your face or remove your mask if there are people within 6 feet 

For more information on the use and care of face masks, visit the CDC website

I have a condition that makes it difficult for me to adhere to the face mask requirement. What other options are available? (rev 8/25)

Students who wish to discuss the face mask requirement, as it relates to a documented disability, should contact Student Disability Services by email at or by phone at 317-940-9308.

Social Gatherings (added 7/30)

We expect students to socialize in groups of no more than 10 people at a time and Fraternity parties will NOT be allowed.

We also expect students to refrain from organizing, hosting, or attending non-sanctioned events, parties, or other social gatherings off campus.

As a commuter student, or as any other student who didn’t get their health kit yet, where do I get my health kit? (add 8/26)

Off-campus students and students residing in Greek houses pick up their health kit in Parking Services when they retrieve their student ID.

How will the University monitor, report and act on the spread of the virus on campus? (rev 1/22/21)

We are taking a holistic approach and are monitoring a number of factors and threshold metrics—some are quantitative and others qualitative—that have been developed with the help of internal and external public health experts to inform our decision-making as the semester progresses. 

External Factors:

Positivity rate in Marion County and the State 
Hospital capacity—ICU bed availability and ventilator availability. This will allow us to know that if we have serious cases on campus, those cases would have access to medical treatment at local hospitals.

Internal Factors:

  1. Percentage of students and faculty/staff who are positive for the virus and who are in quarantine/isolation
  2. Campus positivity rate based upon entry testing and ongoing testing—comparison of our campus rate to county/state/national data
  3. Testing capacity and turnaround time of test results
  4. Effectiveness and efficiency of contact tracing—how quickly we are able to notify close contacts and control the spread
  5. Isolation capacity on campus in Ross Hall
  6. Access to supplies such as face masks and cleaning supplies
  7. Campus compliance and student behavior

For each of these factors, we have trigger points and corresponding mitigation items to take additional action. It is unlikely that any one indicator will cause a major decision, rather, it is more likely that several factors will come into play for any major actions taken by the University.

Throughout the semester, the University’s COVID-19 dashboard will be updated on Tuesdays and Fridays. The results are from the University’s COVID-19 testing program as well as data reported to Butler Health Services by employees who have been physically on campus during the fall semester, resident students, and commuter students.

How will the on-site COVID-19 test be administered?

A local pharmacy with support from Butler Health Services RNs will administer a nasopharyngeal swab test. The COVID-19 testing method being used has been designed to minimize the likelihood of false positive test results. The testing method is highly accurate, is antigen-based and can quickly detect fragments of proteins found on or within the virus by testing samples collected from the nasal cavity using swabs, providing results in minutes. This testing method is approved by both the FDA and Marion County Public Health Department.

Even if a student has been tested and received a negative result prior to arriving on campus, all students are required to be tested on campus, and the on-campus test result will prevail in determining whether a residential student can proceed to move-in or if a non-residential student can be admitted to class. Any COVID-19 testing prior to arrival cannot be considered as a negative COVID-19 diagnosis, as the exposure may have occurred AFTER testing and prior to campus arrival.

Will students be required to be tested for COVID-19 during the spring term? (rev 1/21/21)

Our COVID-19 testing strategy includes the following components: 

  1. Entry Testing. We have tested all residential students prior to their move-in and non-residential students when they arrived on campus.
  2. Symptomatic Testing. We are performing COVID-19 testing for symptomatic students on campus who have been evaluated by Health Services.
  3. Asymptomatic Testing. All students will be required to submit to testing throughout the semester. Students who do not comply with this requirement will have their Badge Status changed to “Overdue” and will be denied entry to dining services and other common areas. Repeat offenders will face disciplinary action, including dismissal from campus.

Knowledge and understanding of the COVID-19 virus continues to evolve, as does the pandemic. Our COVID-19 testing policies and plans will be updated as needed to reflect the current situation and new developments as they arise.  




How do you deal with the threat of asymptomatic carriers on campus? (rev 1/21/21)

Managing asymptomatic spread will be contingent on all members of the Butler community adhering to our health and safety requirements and practices which include completing a daily health screen; complying with all testing and contact tracing requirements; wearing a mask at all times (indoors and outdoors) in the presence of others regardless of social distancing; practicing social distancing and reduced density (social gatherings of more than 10 people are not allowed); and utilizing personal hygiene measures, such as hand washing. 

Further, starting with the spring semester, we will be testing all students throughout the semester. Our testing strategy, targeting approximately 1,500 students each week, is to gather key information—such as having representative data to evaluate the incidence and prevalence of the virus on our campus and identifying spikes of the virus by location (on-campus vs. off-campus, residential location, etc.)—to inform our decision-making and further reduce the risk for our community members.   

What happens when a student tests positive for COVID-19? (rev 7/20)

Because a student’s family members are often in the best position to care for them when they are sick, and to further safeguard our entire campus community, our expectation is that students who test positive for COVID will return home. 

If travel to home is not realistic or safe, we have reserved Ross Hall to isolate students on campus. Students residing in on-campus isolation housing will have food delivery three times a day and be monitored by campus personnel until cleared to leave isolation by Butler Health Services.


How will I know if I’ve been in close contact with someone else who tests positive for COVID-19?

The University has established a contact tracing team that will identify close contacts of anyone in the Butler community who has a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19. The team will cooperate with local public health authorities to coordinate testing, quarantine, and isolation needs in an effort to interrupt and slow transmission of the virus. 

Students who are identified as close contacts of a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 will be required to quarantine-in-place in their current housing assignment for a minimum of 14 days. (Note that roommates/suitemates/housemates are considered close contacts.) 


How does the Daily Health Checkup work? (rev 2/17/21)

All students will be required to complete an online Daily Health Checkup (COVID-19 symptom screening) and to check their temperature every day before leaving their residence. The purpose of the checkup is to help reduce the community spread of COVID-19 on campus. Students who live on campus, or in senior housing, will be required to complete the Daily Health Checkup each day, including weekends. Commuter students, and graduate students who take evening classes, need to complete the Daily Health Checkup every day.

The Daily Health Checkup will be conducted using an online application, which will provide on-screen instructions about next steps. Results will be reported to Health Services for further evaluation. The privacy of health information will be protected.

What should I do if I become ill?

Students who are ill, are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, or have a known COVID-19 exposure, will be required to stay home or in their residence halls or housing

Students should contact Health Services at (317) 985-8364 or their primary care provider for further assessment and guidance on next steps. This will allow for appropriate screening, triage and treatment, and documentation can be provided for missing classes. Students must also notify their professor, advisor, or dean that they will not be in class or activity location that day.

All students who report COVID-19 symptoms or who are exposed to the virus must follow the testing, contact tracing and quarantine protocols established by Butler University using guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Indiana State Department of Health and Marion County.


May I invite visitors to campus? (rev 8/12)

In a campus-wide effort to reduce the number of people on campus, visits by parents, families, and friends are strongly discouraged this semester; they are not permitted in academic buildings or inside campus housing. 

All visitors are required to adhere to the health and safety guidance presented in the student health and safety plan. Face masks must be worn by all visitors in campus buildings, hallways, public spaces, and common areas. Campus hosts should include this information in their communication with prospective guests and remind all necessary visitors to bring a face mask to campus.


Are you testing faculty and staff? If not, why not? (add 8/25)

Faculty and staff are not being tested by the University for a number of reasons, including capacity, access, cost, and the need to prioritize testing of students. In addition to internal capacity limitations, faculty and staff generally have greater access to free testing, both for symptomatic and asymptomatic concerns, throughout Marion County and other locations. Many students do not have this same access due to a lack of transportation or not being an Indiana resident. Importantly, testing of students is the more critical need due to the epidemiology of COVID-19 and the manner in which it spreads. The majority of faculty and staff are able to easily maintain social distance from others on campus which means that the likelihood of contracting or spreading the virus is lower. Very few faculty or staff live on campus as well, further decreasing their chances. For these reasons and others, we have made the decision to focus our testing strategy on students at this point in time.

How does the plan apply if I’m traveling or off-campus? (rev 1/21/21)

Students should apply the plan’s health and safety practices to all activities, both on- and off-campus, whether Butler-related (e.g., internships, service projects) or non-Butler related.

All students are expected to remain in the local area during the semester. Students should limit all unnecessary personal travel and adhere to the University’s most current guidance on Butler-affiliated travel. If students must travel domestically, they must comply with all applicable local, state, or federal public health requirements. These can include quarantine and testing requirements upon entering a state. Students and groups may not travel internationally while the U.S. State Department and the Centers for Disease Control have global travel advisories in effect.