Covid update

Valpo’s COVID-19 bubble has regained its strength around campus following a recent jump in cases after winter break. The month of January alone saw 48 reported cases, just under half of the 110 total cases recorded since the start of the 2022-2023 academic year. However, as of Jan. 30, only 13 active cases have been reported on campus through the Campus Community Health Information page on Valpo’s website. 

Dean of Students Ryan Blevins has been in daily contact with the Student Health Center since the pandemic began in 2020. 

“Everyday I get a report from the Health Center on the number of new cases that have been reported and the status of anything else of concern,” Blevins said. “We were expecting after a two and a half week break that we were going to have a little bump in our numbers.”

The start of the spring semester brought students from across the country and around the world back to Valpo, which — coupled with various social events such as Fraternity and Sorority Life (FSL) Recruitment — created the perfect storm for COVID-19 to spread. 

“During an academic semester we have this lovely bubble that forms around our campus because our students go around the local community but very few of them are going away much more than 50 miles out, for at least an extended period of time anyway,” Blevins said. “We break that bubble at semester break, everybody goes to their [homes], interacts with a whole lot of people from outside our bubble and then everybody comes back into our space, so we expect people to bring back colds, flus, viruses and sometimes COVID-19 as well.”

The university now considers itself in “endemic” rather than “pandemic” mode as the Valpo community has now adjusted to a new normal.

Blevins does not envision the university reviving a mask mandate in the near future unless a major outbreak that infected hundreds of students were to occur. He emphasized that students generally followed protocol and stayed in communication with the Student Health Center during the small January increase in cases, limiting further spread. 

“With this last [rise in cases], students did the right thing. They reported their symptoms to the Health Center and they either went home and isolated or they stayed in our isolation rooms,” Blevins said.

If a student tests positive through an at-home test, Blevins encourages them to contact the Health Center, who can then help sick students get excused absences from their classes. 

“We can’t shut down the university every time we have a few cases of COVID-19,” Blevins said. “Our students, faculty and staff know the drill and thereby follow along pretty well with it, so it’s allowed us to stay in-person and keep doing the things that we love.”

Following CDC (Center for Disease Control) guidelines, students who test positive for COVID-19 must isolate themselves for the five days after they first show symptoms; after that, they must be masked up in classes until the ten day mark. There are isolation rooms available on campus. Blevins notes that some students do not end up isolating for the full five days if they didn’t test positive until after they first start showing symptoms. 

Ultimately, Blevins feels there has been a positive shift on campus towards a post-pandemic experience for students.

“For me, personally, this year, this fall and this spring has felt more like a post-pandemic experience than what we’ve had since the fall of 2020. It’s felt more normal, and I think it’s going to continue to feel that way,” Blevins said. “Our students are wanting to engage more — they’re wanting that social stuff as well. That's great, awesome, it’s what we want.”

For up-to-date information on COVID-19 and other illnesses on campus, visit the Campus Community Health Information page at

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