Find answers to questions the IU Fort Wayne community is asking about related to learning, teaching and research during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Frequently asked questions
Testing protocol and privacy
Students: Visit the IU Health portal. If you have a positive test result outside of IU Health, fill out the COVID-19 reporting form. In addition, complete the CARE Referral Form for Purdue University Fort Wayne. The CARE team provides support for students on the Fort Wayne campus.
Faculty/Staff: Visit the IU Health portal. If you are determined to be positive, tell your immediate supervisor that you will not be returning to work. (Your supervisor is allowed to ask if your absence is related to COVID.)
You are free to disclose your own medical information, including test results and diagnoses, to anyone. However, it is important to know that a test result is personal medical information, protected from disclosure in most circumstances. Exceptions include:
- If you seek accommodations for illness
- Test results are reported to the health department as required
- IU contact tracers -- they will not disclose your identity
Unless you are a close contact, you will not be informed that a person in your class, residence, building, department, or organization has tested positive. Close contacts* of someone who tests positive will receive a call or text from a contact tracer. You must follow their instructions. Contact tracers are prohibited by law from disclosing the identity of the person testing positive.
Students: Unless you are a close contact, you will not be informed that a person in your class or residence has tested positive. The precautions you are required to take (masks, distancing, etc.), as well as extra cleaning of relevant spaces, result in a very low risk of transmission from such persons.
Instructors: If a student requires a COVID-related accommodation, he or she must inform you. If you are determined to be a close contact of a student, you will also be notified. The precautions you are required to take (masks, distancing, etc.), as well as extra cleaning of relevant spaces, result in a very low risk of transmission from such persons.
Faculty or staff member: Unless you are a close contact, you will not be informed that a person in your building or department has tested positive. The precautions you are required to take (masks, distancing, etc.), as well as extra cleaning of relevant spaces, result in a very low risk of transmission from such persons.
Supervisor: Employees are required to inform supervisor of absence, and the supervisor may ask whether it is COVID-related. Otherwise, unless you are a close contact, you will not be informed that an employee has tested positive.
* A close contact is defined as someone who was within 6 feet continuously for more than 15 minutes. Roommates will almost always be close contacts. If everyone follows the masking or distancing rules in classrooms, they are not close contacts.
It is primarily their responsibility to inform instructors, supervisors or others, so encourage the individual to do so. You should also feel free to assist someone in making such reports.
Through an agreement with Indiana University Health, IU Fort Wayne students, faculty and staff will have access to a comprehensive series of services related to the screening, testing and management of COVID-19.
As part of the agreement, all IU Fort Wayne students, faculty and staff at any IU campus or facility who have symptoms of COVID-19 will be able to use virtual visits and local clinics where samples can be collected for virus testing if needed.
Screening and testing
Mitigation testing is how Indiana University Fort Wayne will identify and isolate members of the IU community who have COVID-19, but are not showing any symptoms.
Each week, a few of IU students, faculty, and staff will be selected to participate in mitigation testing.
Those selected will receive an email notification and be prompted to schedule an on-campus test by the end of the week.
Mitigation testing is essential to IU Fort Wayne's ability to continue to safely offer in-person education this semester. It will allow IU Fort Wayne to identify asymptomatic cases before they spread the virus to others.
That's why participation is so important. Those selected who fail to take their mitigation tests may be subject to disciplinary actions.
Mitigation tests will be simple saliva tests with results back in a few days.
Those selected for mitigation testing will receive an email from IU Fort Wayne with instructions for scheduling a 30-minute testing appointment.
The tests will be administered on campus in Parking Garage 3 (P3) at the north end of campus.
If you are not coming to campus this semester, and you don't interact with any other IU Fort Wayne students, faculty, or staff, you may qualify for an exemption from mitigation testing.
However, if you come to campus to go to the library or buy food, for example, or if you meet up with other members of the IU Fort Wayne community off campus, you will still need to participate in mitigation testing.
In order to be exempt from testing, you have to fill out the exemption request form, which is linked in the email you will receive if you are selected. There will be a very limited number of exemptions that will be selected.
Exemptions are only valid for one round of mitigation testing; if you are selected again, you will need to fill out another exemption form.
If your test is negative, you can continue with your normal routine. You should still wear a face mask, keep at least 6 feet from others, and avoid large gatherings to protect yourself and others.
If you test positive for COVID-19, you will need to isolate yourself for at least 10 days from the time of your positive test. If you live off campus, you should not come to campus for any reason, including work.
An IU contact tracer will contact you via phone, email, or text message with more guidance and important next steps. Make sure you answer their call.
The goal of contract tracing is to stop transmission of disease within the community by limiting contact between an individual who is infected and others. This is done by rapidly informing the infected person of their positive results and facilitating isolation; rapidly identifying and informing close contacts of that person and facilitating their quarantine; and monitoring both infected people and their close contacts for worsening symptoms and referring them for medical care if required.
Contact tracing is only one small part of outbreak prevention. The success of contact tracing relies on behavior change by community members to mitigate the spread of disease.
For COVID-19, a close contact is defined as an individual who has been within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes, 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 symptoms).
This definition holds whether either individual was wearing a mask or not. While masks are an important part of preventing outbreaks, they are not a substitute for limiting interactions with others and maintaining social distance (6 feet apart).
If you are identified as a close contact, an IU contact tracer will call you to inform you of your potential exposure to COVID-19 and provide further instructions based on CDC guidelines. IU contact tracers may also attempt to contact you via emails or text messages.
Close contacts are expected to quarantine for 14 days from the time they were exposed to ensure they do not spread the coronavirus to others.
Yes. IU community members who are in quarantine because they have been exposed to COVID-19 may not come out of a required quarantine if they receive a negative test result during their quarantine period.
This is because an individual who has been exposed can take 2–14 days to develop infection so a negative test during that time only means that the close contact hasn’t YET developed infection, but they are still at risk of developing infection until 14 days after their last exposure.
Isolation is for people who test positive for COVID-19. It is used to separate infected people from people who are not infected. People who are in isolation should separate themselves from others until their infectious period has passed.
Quarantine is for close contacts of those who test positive for COVID-19. It is used to prevent the spread of COVID-19, which can occur before a person knows they are infected with the virus -- whether they are pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic. People in quarantine should separate themselves from others (both infected and non-infected people) to prevent transmission should they be infected.
IU will provide separate isolation and quarantine facilities for those living in on-campus housing who are unable to return home. Those living off campus will be provided with instructions to facilitate isolation or quarantine in their own living situations.
If a close contact in quarantine tests positive, they will be moved to isolation.
Individuals in both isolation and quarantine will receive regular follow-up from IU Health through the Twistle app in order to report symptoms and other support needs. Other services such as meal delivery, pharmacy services, laundry services, and mental health support will be provided to individuals in campus isolation and quarantine rooms.
Contact tracers may ask those that have tested positive to look through their calendar, texts and emails to recall anyone with whom they may have had close contact during their infectious period, which current research shows to be about two days before and 10 days after the onset of symptoms. Asymptomatic individuals are also believed to be contagious for 10 days.
Contact tracers will ask positive cases and close contacts about their symptoms and about their living environments. They will also provide education, guidance and quarantine/isolation parameters based on guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as assist with resources necessary to make isolation or quarantine possible.
Contact tracers will NOT disclose to the public who may have exposed a person to COVID-19. This information is strictly confidential and HIPAA protected.
Public health departments will receive information about positive cases. All employees of public health departments are HIPAA compliant.
Contact tracers will NOT ask for:
- Your social security number.
- Money or payment of any type.
- Photographs or videos of any type.
- Passwords or any other type of account information.
- You immigration status.
The university is not planning any changes to the academic calendar. Classes will begin on August 24, and the rest of the fall semester will proceed as scheduled. Decisions about spring semester will be made at a later date.
Note: There may be some IU program courses that will follow a slightly altered scheduled. Your academic school will be sending out additional information.
For some classes, faculty members may be teaching classes in hybrid scenarios that involve a mix of in-person and online classes.
Labs, studios, and field work will be conducted in modified in-person settings with students. Some classes may be moved to larger classrooms, to other locations on campus, or partially or fully online to accommodate more students and reduce density in classrooms.
Campus Housing is currently open with some students in residence over the summer. We continue to accept students for fall.
Due to the high demand for housing, students are encouraged to act soon to secure a spot.
All housing is apartment style and affords adherence to distancing standards and recommendations. There are no traditional dormitory-style rooms in housing.
Campus dining venues will reopen on August 3, with only grab-and-go options planned through the fall semester. Additional specifics and information on catering will be forthcoming.
Yes, signage will be placed around campus to inform students, faculty, staff and visitors of public health guidance and any restrictions in place.
Air handling units in all buildings have been undergoing inspections and upgrades, and will now be running 24/7 in order to provide maximum air circulation, air balance, and room air exchanges (six to 15 exchanges per hour).
Air filters are being significantly upgraded with the highest-rated filters possible. Some filter units are being replaced with units with high-efficiency capacity.
Helmke Library will reopen on July 1. We are taking measures to reduce the density of people throughout the library, including the Skybridge.
All campus buildings will be open, effective August 3. Many buildings on campus will continue to have restricted access through July 31, except for those being utilized for limited purposes for the second summer session, which begins on June 29.
The university is requiring face masks to be worn by everyone on campus, in every building, effective immediately and until further notice.
IU Fort Wayne has ordered two cloth masks for each student, faculty and staff member free of charge.
Social gatherings and events
In order to provide intensive focus on students and the academic mission, external rentals and large-scale community events on campus are canceled or postponed through December 31.
Visitors will be allowed on campus on a limited basis for meetings and gatherings not to exceed 25 people and subject to enhanced health and safety and contact tracing protocols.
Student Affairs events and programming for students are exempt from this limitation and will proceed with enhanced health and safety protocols with appropriate oversight.