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Safety measures aim to protect BVU students, community

September 15, 2020 10:08am

Buena Vista University (BVU) has enacted additional safety protocols and established new reporting and communication measures in an effort to reduce the number of cases of COVID-19 on its campus in Storm Lake.

BVU Health Services and Wellness professionals, working with the Iowa Department of Public Health, opened a new TestIowa site on campus on Sept. 8—one of the first to become operational on an Iowa college campus. The result in increased testing has led to the discovery of additional cases, prompting BVU staff and faculty members to heighten mitigation efforts to protect students and the greater BVU community.

Additional safety efforts include the following:

Anonymous reporting: Students, faculty, and staff may use an anonymous reporting tool on a Beavers Forward webpage to detail the actions of those who are not wearing face-coverings and practicing physical distancing.

Increased monitoring: BVU Athletics coaches are joining other staff in monitoring physical distancing in Campus Dining and safety compliance in residence halls. Plexiglass dividers, like those seen in office spaces and in the new library areas, are being added to Campus Dining tables.

Beavers Forward helpline: Students, parents, and guardians who have questions about policies or the presence of COVID-19 on campus may now call 712.749.2222 Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday-Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Those having a health concern may call BVU Health Services directly.

Buena Vista University reported its first active cases on campus at the end of August. Since that time, the number of active cases of COVID-19 has risen to 43. Disciplinary action for those found to be in serious violation of mitigation measures have been strengthened as University leaders work with students to treat those with the virus while using contact tracing methods to identify and quarantine those students who have been exposed.

Classes and select student activities continue this fall as the vast majority of students practice guidelines to protect their health while securing the wellbeing of dedicated faculty and staff members.

Several students who tested positive for COVID-19 two and three weeks ago have since completed their isolation period and have returned to their residence halls.

“The rise in cases we have seen in the past week are primarily due to a lack of compliance for physical distancing and the wearing of face coverings among students,” says Kelsey Clausen, BVU Senior Director of Communications. “We are urging our students to be very vigilant about these measures in order to protect themselves, as well as their families and those here on campus who are working to give them a quality education and the rewarding residential campus experience they have come to expect.”