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Tips for a safe Labor Day weekend

Sep 3, 2020

Labor Day weekend is often considered the unofficial end of summer. Usually, it’s a time for getting together with friends and family and celebrating before the crisp autumn air blows in. This year, everyone’s Labor Day plans are going to look a bit different in order to keep our circle healthy and safe.

A red grill on a grassy lawn
Get some tips to celebrate the holiday weekend safely.Photo by Getty Images

So what can you safely do over the holiday weekend? Check out these tips and ideas:

Stay close to home

  • Don’t plan a long trip; stay close to home to minimize risk.
  • Don’t travel or visit with others if you’re feeling ill.
  • If you find you must travel, take precautions: use touchless procedures when possible, wear a mask and make sure you wash your hands.

Have a cookout or picnic

  • Plan to be outside.
  • Keep the guest list small and make sure no one is sick.
  • Everyone should wear a mask (yes, even if you’re outside).
  • Gather together, but stay physically distanced (yes, even outside).
  • Make it a BYO everything.
  • Provide hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies.

‘Accountability is a collective effort’ to staying on campus

As Indiana University campuses return to in-person classes, students, faculty and staff not only have to focus on academics but also stay vigilant and accountable for following the various health and safety guidelines in place.

a limestone IU on the Bloomington campus
As campuses return to in-person classes, students, faculty and staff have to stay vigilant and accountable.Photo by James Brosher, Indiana University

“There’s a lot to know and remember this semester,” said Benjamin Hunter, superintendent for public safety and associate vice president of Public Safety and Institutional Assurance. “As we continue to be in the midst of a global pandemic, the health and safety measures strategically put in place throughout the IU community are vital to our campus communities. Accountability is a collective effort to ensure we can continue staying together in person and as safe as possible.”

Staying accountable

Each member of the IU community – students, faculty, staff – is required to comply with a number of behaviors and items. Required behaviors include:

  • Wearing a mask when in public and within 6 feet of others.
  • Fully participating with contact tracing if contacted.
  • Reporting if you test positive or are a close contact of someone who tested positive.
  • Quarantining if you’re a close contact or may have been exposed.
  • Isolating and contacting IU Health if you have symptoms.
  • Participating in mitigation testing if selected.

In addition, students, faculty and staff are strongly encouraged to:

  • Always wear a mask when in public even if you’re physically distanced.
  • Keep your circle small and avoid large gatherings.
  • Make a plan for what you’ll do if you have to quarantine or isolate.
  • Report violations if you see them.

Reporting violations

Should any IU student, faculty or staff notice an activity, event or behavior that is not in line with the health and safety guidelines, there is now a form where these can be reported.

Once the form is completed, it will be routed to the appropriate office based on the specific instance being reported (Student Affairs, HR, etc.). From there, the office or department will investigate and follow up on the reported events. In most cases, the person submitting the form will not be contacted by the office following up on the incident unless it is necessary for the investigation.

IU Police Department will not respond to complaints about failures to wear a mask or physically distance. IUPD can be notified for large gatherings that appear to be a party in violation of the student policy on compliance with COVID-19 health and safety directives, or of local city, county or state guidelines.

What to report

Examples of things to report include not staying home when sick or symptomatic, improperly wearing a mask, not cooperating with contact tracing, or not physically distancing and gathering in large groups. The full list of behaviors and activities that need to be followed can be found in the Sanctions for Noncompliance with COVID-19 Health and Safety Directives policy (STU-02 for students, UA-21 for faculty/staff).

“This form is intended to help us all be eyes and ears around campus in the spirit of keeping us all healthy and safe,” Hunter said. “The person completing the form and reporting the violation will not be punished. Quite the opposite … we’re very thankful to those who take the time to tell us what they see so it can be investigated and corrected.”

Fall 2020

Indiana University welcomes students, faculty and staff to the fall semester. The university has provided safety guidelines, an academic calendar, FAQs, and campus-specific guidance for move-in, testing, teaching and learning at

Visit a park or local trail

  • Check out somewhere new close to your residence.
  • Avoid crowded parks or campgrounds.
  • Wear a mask if anyone else is around (yes, even outside).
  • Keep your distance from those not in your household.

Dine out

The safest way to dine out is to grab carryout from your favorite place, find a nice spot outside or back at your residence and enjoy. If you want to have the full dining out experience:

  • Make sure you understand the restaurant’s safety guidelines and capacity.
  • Wear a mask at all times unless you’re eating or drinking.
  • Bring your own hand sanitizer.
  • Keep your food to yourself (no stealing a fry from your friend’s plate).
  • Wash your hands often and definitely before and after eating.


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