In a campus-wide email sent Aug. 17, Vice President for Student Affairs Ro-Anne Royer Engle confirmed COVID-19 surveillance testing will be mandatory for unvaccinated students. This also applies to students who have yet to confirm their vaccination status on the COVID-19 vaccine completion form.
"The purpose of our surveillance testing program is to test asymptomatic persons without a known or suspected exposure to COVID-19 to monitor the prevalence of COVID-19 in the campus community," Royer Engle said. "These results will also help mitigate the spread of the virus and inform the university’s decisions on its health and safety protocols."
Each 28 days, the university will randomly select a sample of unvaccinated students to be tested for COVID-19 using rapid antigen tests each week.
Selected students will be notified via their Ball State emails and will be required to download a NAVICA app to receive their test results quickly. Individuals without a mobile device will be given an option for a web-based notification or a manual email notification of test results. Individuals will receive notice of their test results via the NAVICA app or via email. Test results will be reported to the state, and a positive test result for COVID-19 will be reported to Ball State contract tracers.
Testing will be scheduled from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Tuesday and Wednesday at Worthen Arena. If a student is selected for mandatory surveillance testing and the available testing times conflict with their classes, alternate testing arrangements will be made and communicated to the student via their Ball State emails.
The Abbott Binax Now rapid antigen test will be used for the surveillance testing program. Symptomatic individuals will not be tested and will be directed to use the symptomatic testing option through IU Health or a local healthcare provider. The email announcement said students who do not comply with the testing directive will be subject to appropriate progressive disciplinary action including, but not limited to, probation and registration holds.
Royer Engle encouraged all students regardless of vaccination status to review and follow Ball State's updated COVID-19 response plan. She said the vaccines have proven to be safe and effective and offered information regarding extended hours for the campus vaccination clinic.
The extended hours for the Health Professions Building are as follows:
- August 10, 12, 13, 17, 19, 20, 24, 26, and 27 — 3 p.m to 8 p.m.
- August 14, 21, and 28 — noon to 8 p.m.
Anyone can use the vaccine clinic by booking an appointment at ourshot.in.gov and select “DCHD BallState WRiversideAve MVAX” or can walk in to the clinic to be vaccinated without an appointment. There will also be additional vaccine clinics available on campus in September.
"The coming months will no doubt continue to require flexibility from all of us as we fulfill our mission to have a more traditional, on-campus experience for our campus community," Royer Engle said. "We appreciate everything you are doing to ensure a successful Fall semester ahead."