Health & Safety Practices FAQs
Please click on the questions below to find the responses.
It is the University’s goal to fully restore the on-campus experience for students, faculty, and staff in fall 2021. While the health and safety of everyone on campus remain our top priority, Butler University administrators are cautiously optimistic that a return to the normal academic calendar, a vibrant campus life, and increased face-to-face instruction and classroom capacities are all possible beginning this fall.
What's really true about the COVID-19 vaccine?
Butler University faculty experts hosted a webinar addressing the science and safety of COVID-19 vaccines. Additionally, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website:
- COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. Millions of people in the United States have received COVID-19 vaccines under the most intense safety monitoring in U.S. history
- CDC recommends you get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as you can
- Long-term side effects are unlikely. Adverse events have been reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, which accepts reports of any adverse event following vaccination, even if it is not clear the vaccine caused the problem
- CDC, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and other federal agencies will continue to monitor the safety of COVID-19 vaccines
Despite the amount of information that is readily available, there are still a number of myths surrounding COVID-19 vaccines. Below are five fast facts of which we should all be aware.
Fact #1: There was no bypassing or relaxing of the normal scientific process for vaccine development. The vaccines were tested by all three phases of scientifically rigorous clinical trials, which have shown no major safety concerns.
Fact #2: It is not possible for the vaccine to change your DNA. It does not interact with your DNA in any way.
Fact #3: The vaccine cannot give you COVID-19. There is no live virus in the vaccine.
Fact #4: While you may feel some side effects after receiving the vaccine, they should be mild and only last for 24–48 hours. Most commonly, people feel soreness at the injection site like with any other shot. Others may also experience mild fever, mild fatigue, muscle or joint pain, or headache.
Fact #5: There's no evidence that the vaccine causes infertility in women or has increased risks for pregnant or breastfeeding women. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, say the vaccine should not be withheld from pregnant or breastfeeding women.
Face masks* are required for those who are vaccinated and unvaccinated when indoors in the presence of others.
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.
* Students who wish to discuss the face mask requirement, as it relates to a disability, should contact Student Disability Services by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 317-940-9308.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Unvaccinated 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 10 days. (Note that roommates/suitemates/housemates are considered close contacts.
Individuals who are experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as well as unvaccinated individuals who have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, are required to complete the COVID-19 Health Reporting Form.
The COVID-19 Health Reporting Form (formerly known as the Daily Health Survey) is 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.
Individuals 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.
Individuals experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19 should complete the COVID-19 Health Reporting Form, and 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.
Individuals 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.
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.
Throughout the semester, the University’s COVID-19 dashboard will be updated on the University website. 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, residential students, and commuter students.
I’ve been granted an exemption from the vaccination requirement, but fear that I will be ridiculed by others for not getting vaccinated. How will Butler handle this?
Given recent guidance from the CDC that everyone–including vaccinated individuals—wear masks indoors, no one should assume that an individual is unvaccinated simply because they are wearing a mask. Thus, unless you reveal that you are unvaccinated, it is unlikely that others will know your vaccination status. Nevertheless, should you become the target of ridicule or criticism due to your vaccination status or any other reason, please report the incident to the University. Butler insists that everyone respect the individual choices that we all must make as we each navigate the pandemic to the best of our abilities. Individuals who disrespect others for their choices regarding vaccination, face coverings, or any other reason will be subject to discipline by the University.