Ball State's COVID-19 testing and vaccination policies

<p>Prepared doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine sit on a table April 7, 2021, at IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital. <strong>Jaden Whiteman, DN File</strong></p>

Prepared doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine sit on a table April 7, 2021, at IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital. Jaden Whiteman, DN File

How to report vaccination or test status

Both vaccinated and unvaccinated students will use the same fall student return portal and click the response that fits them — either that they are fully vaccinated, have received a negative test within a week of returning to campus or received a positive COVID-19 test within the past 90 days. Test results require photographic proof, while vaccine confirmation does not.

Regardless of their responses on the form, students must also certify they will be held accountable for providing false information to the university.

Unvaccinated students need to self-quarantine at home between their testing date and the date they return to campus. If students receive an inconclusive test result, they should get tested again.

Students with negative test results must wait for university administrators to confirm their test result is accepted. Students with positive test results will be provided with instructions to isolate for 10 days after symptoms begin and will be welcomed back to campus after being fever-free for 24 hours.

Students who reported a positive COVID-19 test result to the university on or after May 25, 2021 meet the 90-days exception, but still have to submit an image of the positive test result before the fall 2021 semester begins.

Unvaccinated students may be tested regularly throughout the semester to ensure the health and safety of campus.

For more information regarding Ball State’s pre-arrival testing protocols, visit the frequently asked questions web page.

Source: Ball State COVID-19 web page

Incoming freshmen will have opportunities for many more of the typical college experiences this year as COVID-19 positive test rates are decreasing and vaccines are available for adults across the U.S., but everyone on Ball State’s campus will still have to take action to protect against contracting and spreading COVID-19. To begin the fall 2021 semester, everyone will be required to wear masks indoors regardless of their vaccination status.

RELATED: Students share their thoughts on Ball State’s indoor mask mandate

While the university will not require anyone to get vaccinated as long as the Food and Drug Administration keeps the three approved COVID-19 vaccines at emergency-use authorization and not a level of full approval, unvaccinated students will be required to turn in negative COVID-19 test results from a test administered within seven days of their move-in date or the first day of classes — whichever is first. Students will not be allowed to enter campus before turning in an image file of the results.

Some exceptions apply to this rule, including students who are fully vaccinated and students who have tested positive and recovered from COVID-19 within 90 days of their move-in date. These students will need an image file of their positive COVID-19 test result and must certify they have followed Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines of quarantining after a positive test.

Students who are vaccinated against COVID-19 may go to the same fall student return portal and click the option that says they have received all required COVID-19 vaccine doses at least two weeks before arriving on campus. 

Regardless of their responses on the form, students must also certify they will be held accountable for providing false information to the university. Submitting images or proof of vaccination on the portal is not currently required for students fully vaccinated for COVID-19.

The university will conduct mandatory COVID-19 surveillance testing for unvaccinated students through selecting a random sample of students each 28 days to undergo weekly rapid antigen tests at Worthen Arena.

RELATED: Ball State announces COVID-19 surveillance testing details for unvaccinated students

Ball State is providing some incentives for students and faculty who are fully vaccinated and have completed the COVID-19 vaccine completion form with weekly drawings for prizes ranging from Technology Store and dining vouchers to one-time drawings for VIP athletics seats or an air-conditioned residence hall double room with a semi-private bathroom. Each prize is drawn individually and students cannot choose which prize they win.

RELATED: Ball State starts student, employee vaccination incentives program drawings

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