The information on this page reflects current campus guidelines. Fall 2021 guidelines are available here.


Spring 2021 Semester Update

The University of Iowa continues to take deliberate steps to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 for our students, faculty, staff, and surrounding community. 

Our goal is to provide as much choice and certainty as possible while aligning with guidance from the Board of Regents, State of Iowa; the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH); and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The university will continue to closely monitor cases of COVID-19 throughout the winter and spring semesters and will take action deemed necessary to help mitigate the transmission of the virus.

A few adjustments will be made for the Spring 2021 semester, including: 

Academic Calendar

The university has altered the spring calendar, with the spring 2021 semester beginning Jan. 25, 2021 (one week later than originally planned), and ending on May 14, 2021. To reduce long-distance travel and help limit the spread of COVID-19, there will be no spring break. Standard instruction and attendance policies for that week will apply.

However, the university will provide two instructional breaks to give students and faculty a brief respite from instruction. Students are encouraged to use these days to ensure they understand their course materials and seek assistance if necessary. There will be no classes on:

  • Tuesday, March 2
  • Wednesday, April 14

Classroom Experience

Classes for the spring 2021 semester will be offered in similar formats as the current fall semester with a blended format that includes online and face-to-face instruction. Adjustments made during the fall 2020 semester will remain in place, in addition to a few minor changes that will allow both instructors and students to better prepare for the spring semester.

  • All instructors have been asked to designate the format of their classes for the spring 2021 semester before students begin enrolling, which will allow students to better plan their class schedule.
  • With a few exceptions, courses enrolling 50 or more students will be moved online. For courses with a lecture/discussion or lecture/lab format, the larger lecture section will move online, while the smaller discussion/lab sections may still meet in person.
  • For classes with fewer than 50 students, each department has developed a plan to ensure there will be a reasonable number of in-person course sections in each college, while still ensuring online sections are available due to COVID-19 health concerns of some students and instructors.
  • University classrooms have been outfitted with additional cameras and audiovisual equipment to enhance the educational experience.

Temporary Alternative Learning Arrangements (TALA)

Students who were verified for a TALA in fall 2020 because they met one or more criteria for populations listed by the CDC as being more vulnerable to COVID-19 will be carried over for winter 2020 and spring 2021 sessions. No additional paperwork needs to be submitted. For additional information, see the TALA web page.

Temporary Alternative Work Arrangements (TAWA)

Employees (outside of UI Health Care) who fall into one or more of the high-risk categories identified by the CDC, or who have a household member in one of the high-risk categories, may seek a TAWA for spring 2021. To make a request, please visit this site.

Health and safety measures

Face masks (cloth mask, disposable mask, or face shield with a mask) will continue to be required in all university buildings, including classrooms, unless alone in a private office/space or your residence hall room. Masks should be worn outside when social distancing is not possible.

Campus operations, including Housing and Dining, will remain open during the spring 2021 semester to serve those who rely on university services.

The University of Iowa
Steps Forward Fall 2020

The University of Iowa is committed to providing a world-class educational experience for our students and a great place to grow and thrive for faculty and staff. As a guiding principle, the UI recognizes the more an individual interacts with others, and the longer the interaction, the higher the risk of SARS-CoV-2 spread.
The university’s Critical Incident Management Team (CIMT) is working to develop and disseminate policies and processes for returning employees and students to campus with the goals of limiting exposure to and slowing the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
To achieve these goals, the CIMT solicited and received detailed input from multiple stakeholders, including UI and outside experts in medical and public health science; facility managers; research administrators; emergency managers; educational specialists; and others. The polices and processes developed by the CIMT represent its efforts to address multiple objectives, including a robust educational experience and a campus with a reduced risk of coronavirus infection.
The policies and procedures provided in this guidance were recommended to university leadership by CIMT, after consideration of all available input. These policies and procedures will continue to align with policy decisions made by the governor and Board of Regents, State of Iowa.
The university will continue to follow the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH), in consultation with UI experts.

Guiding Principles

  • Placing people first as our university is only as strong as our students, faculty, and staff;
  • Preserving and building on core values of excellence, learning, community, diversity, integrity, respect, and responsibility;
  • Delivering world-class education, research, and health care; and
  • Engaging shared governance and campus leadership.

The UI will develop and deploy institutional plans for:

  • Health and safety procedures
  • Academic experience
  • Facilities
  • Finance/FEMA
  • Human resources
  • IT procedures
  • Parking and transportation
  • Procurement/supply chain—COVID-19 and protective equipment
  • Research
  • The student experience

UI colleges and central service units will develop and deploy institutional plans (as applicable) specific to local needs regarding:

  • The academic experience
  • Human resources
  • Research
  • The student experience
  • Continuity of operations

*Colleges and central service units will receive templates to complete their Academic Experience Plan, Human Resources Plan, Research Plan, and Student Experience Plan. The Continuity of Operations Plan template is available at


Campus Health and Distancing Practices

In order for the University of Iowa campus to resume hybrid, face-to-face instruction, research, and discovery, the following procedures will be implemented:

  • Do NOT return to class or work if you are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms. Your own department or college may have specific procedures for daily attestations of wellness. In particular, no one should come to work or class if they are beginning to experience any of the following symptoms:
    • Fever (temperature >=37.8 C or 100.0 F)
    • Shortness of breath
    • Muscle pain
    • Sore throat
    • Chills
    • Cough
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Headache
    • Loss of taste or smell
  • All students, faculty, and staff should follow the current guidance from the CDC regarding quarantine and isolation.
  • If you come to class or work and begin experiencing any possible symptoms of illness, you must leave as soon as possible and inform your health care provider and local HR leader.
  • Unless otherwise indicated, applicable face masks (cloth mask, disposable mask, or face shield with mask) must be worn by all building occupants unless they are alone in a private office. All students, faculty, and staff will be provided:
    • 2 reusable cloth face masks
    • 2 disposable masks
    • 1 face shield
  • All university meetings, to the greatest extent possible, will take place in an online format in order to maximize the amount of available classroom space.
  • Everyone entering a university building is expected to follow CDC recommendations to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
  • Glove use is discouraged outside of recognized infection or chemical-control protocols in medical or laboratory settings.
  • Hand sanitizing stations (distributed and restocked by Facilities Management) will be available at the entrances of each university building.
  • Hand sanitizer (distributed and restocked by Facilities Management) will be available in each classroom.
  • Cleaning supplies will be available to be used by students, faculty, and staff within classrooms (distributed and restocked by Facilities Management).
  • Cleaning supplies will be available to be used by students, faculty, and staff within unit assigned spaces, such as offices, (distributed and restocked by unit).

Social Distancing

Social distancing is an important tool in reducing SARS-CoV-2 droplet transmission. In order to increase social distancing, the UI will:

  • Increase the use of remote work options for employees who can work from home, adjust break and lunch schedules, and stagger arrival and departure times, among other strategies. Enhancing this practice will reduce the number of individuals within university buildings and on campus, in general.
  • In coordination with individual departments, install plexiglass dividers in areas where social distancing cannot be practiced, such as public-facing offices, labs, or studios. Procurement will be by the department.
  • Implement social distancing practices both inside buildings and on campus grounds. Common areas (such as hallways, stairwells, entrances, and restrooms) will be configured to allow for social distancing, with appropriate signage.
  • Outfit all classrooms with additional cameras and audiovisual equipment to enhance the educational experience.


The UI will follow CDC recommended cleaning procedures for:

  • High-touch areas, public areas, and for equipment that was used during an employee’s time working from home.
  • Surfaces or equipment used by the general public (such as credit card terminals, fitness center equipment, etc.). Such surfaces and equipment will be cleaned by the user or a UI employee after each use.
  • Areas known to be occupied by a person SARS-CoV-2-positive/presumed positive. The areas will be closed off for at least 24 hours, if feasible. If more than seven days have passed since the person was in the area, only routine cleaning and disinfection is needed.

Employees will be responsible for keeping their own personal work areas clean, and students, faculty, and staff will be responsible for practicing recommended hand hygiene before using items that might be shared by others, as well as cleaning items after use.

Protection for Populations with Vulnerability

Certain populations are at higher risk to contract the COVID-19 virus due to sociodemographic circumstances or have an increased risk of morbidity and mortality due to age or underlying health conditions. Additionally, members of the UI community may live with others who are in vulnerable populations. Students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to speak with their health care provider and self-identify if they have concerns regarding a medical vulnerability. Staff and faculty can contact their local HR representative and students can contact Student Disability Services. Strategies to mitigate the risk to vulnerable populations include:

  • Allowing remote work and remote coursework.
  • Providing workspaces that minimize contact with others (such as a single office or physical barriers).
  • Encouraging students, faculty, and staff with vulnerabilities to wear both a face mask and face shield.
  • Discouraging non-essential travel.
  • Using online technologies for meetings and events.

Testing, Contact Tracing, Isolation/Quarantine

  • Testing, both diagnostic and immunity, will be based upon state and federal guidance and availability.
  • The UI will coordinate with the Johnson County Department of Public Health on a unified response for contact tracing and disease investigation for UI community members.
  • Systems/technology will be explored and used to assist with contact tracing.
  • A concerted effort will be made to obtain current on-campus addresses and contact information for all students to ensure timely communication in case of testing notification or contact tracing.
  • The UI will consider assigned seating in classrooms in order to aid contact tracing.
  • The UI will monitor local infection rates and disease transmission among students, faculty, and staff to identify groups, locations, and trends.
  • Following guidance from the Johnson County Department of Public Health and IDPH, the UI will have testing available to identify symptomatic cases and to test close contacts of those with confirmed COVID-19 cases.
  • The UI will provide isolation space for students diagnosed with COVID-19 who live in residence halls, and space to quarantine close contacts as defined by the Johnson County Department of Public Health. The UI will assist with transportation needs as appropriate.
  • As appropriate, UI will provide resources to students living off campus, as well as staff and faculty who are in isolation or quarantine.


Academics and the Classroom

In order for the University of Iowa campus to resume hybrid, face-to-face instruction, the following campuswide procedures will be implemented, with individual colleges creating plans to implement these procedures locally:

  • Courses with enrollments of 50 or more students will be moved to an online format. For courses with a lecture/discussion or lecture/lab format, the larger lecture section would move online, while the smaller discussion/lab sections could remain in-person.
  • Select courses that are prioritized for in-person instruction and have enrollments of 50 or more students will be evaluated to determine if appropriate classroom space is available once standards for classroom-utilization capacity are finalized.
  • University classrooms will be outfitted with additional cameras and audiovisual equipment to enhance the educational experience.
  • Unless otherwise indicated, applicable face masks (cloth mask, disposable mask, or face shield with mask) must be worn by all building occupants unless a person is alone in a private office.
  • Where social distancing is not possible due to permanently located equipment (e.g., lecture podiums, pottery wheels) or specific course requirements (e.g., lab-based courses, clinical simulations), physical barriers such as plexiglass panels between students (and between students and instructors) should be utilized.
  • All colleges will need to collaborate with Classroom Planning to ensure that as many spaces as possible are available for instruction. This includes college meeting spaces or instructional space that is under college control.
  • All university meetings, to the greatest extent possible, will take place online in order to prioritize all space for instruction (additional audiovisual equipment may be required in those spaces; Classroom Planning and ITS will develop appropriate plans).
  • The university will utilize the grading system that was in effect prior to the pandemic.

Remote Instruction (Updated Aug. 17, 2020)

The Office of Distance and Online Education (DOE) and the Office of Teaching, Learning, and Technology (OTLT) have created a Remote Instruction Team. This team of instructional designers, media staff, and teaching experts has compiled best practices for teaching in online and hybrid formats.

A new page (Pandemic to Planned) has been added to the Keep Teaching at Iowa website that addresses the areas listed below. The Remote Instruction Team is identifying and, when needed, developing training that corresponds to each topic:

  • Online/virtual course management and facilitation
  • Creating and facilitating online assessments
  • Effective online course structure
  • How and when to conduct synchronous meetings
  • How and when to conduct home recordings
  • How to manage large courses

Support will be available in a variety of formats including:

  • Individual consulting
  • Workshops
  • Online drop-in consulting or office hours
  • Online support material (referenced above, will include FAQs)
  • ICON course templates

Additionally, the university will:

  • Ensure each first-year student has at least one face-to-face class.
  • Support the development of teaching exercises to accommodate social distancing in the classroom.
  • Provide content on how to be a successful online learner to first-year and transfer students via orientation and Success@Iowa.
  • Install additional cameras and audiovisual equipment in every university classroom by fall 2020.
  • Expand studio space in DOE, enabling instructors to record lectures with support from DOE media staff (support available from the UI Remote Instruction Team).
  • Provide media check-out kits that will include portable green screens, high-quality microphones, small lighting kits, and web cameras for instructors to create their own media content (support available from the UI Remote Instruction Team). For more information about the check-out kits, including equipment, best practices, and reservations, see this page.
  • Provide TAs with training that supports online instruction.
  • With support from ITS, continue to improve the process of delivering technology to students who are unable to participate in online instruction.
University Libraries

Library staff, including student employees, will comply with university and public health guidance regarding density, social distancing, and protective equipment. UI Libraries will retain an “online-first” approach to delivering materials and services electronically whenever possible. Online requests for print books and other physical materials will be encouraged.

UI Libraries will prepare to reopen buildings to faculty, students, and staff on Aug. 17, 2020, following these procedures:

  • Entry/exit:
    • Signage will be posted outside entrances advising of distancing and other measures to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
    • Sanitizing stations will be provided at all entrances and exits.
    • Where possible, foot traffic will be directed to separate doors for entry and exit.
  • Contactless transactions to circulate books and other physical items:
    • Physical barriers to at least 6 vertical feet will be installed at designated service points.
    • Signage, stanchions, and floor stickers will be installed to direct queues.
    • Returned materials will be quarantined following library best practices.
  • Research consultations will be handled online (by appointment only for Special Collections).
  • Unrestricted (open) public spaces:
    • Seating will be reduced and occupancy limited following campus guidelines.
    • Hours will be reduced to allow more time for custodial staff to clean.
    • ITS will develop a plan to create social-distancing space between workstations for computers and learning commons spaces.
    • Appropriate social distancing will be marked in buildings, among stacks, and in service areas.
    • Signage to limit seating will be posted at tables to maintain social distance.
    • Public spaces that cannot be adapted to social distancing will be temporarily repurposed.
  • The following guidance will be adhered to for limited-use spaces (enclosed rooms, etc.):
    • One Button Studio and similar high-use spaces will be reserved and used by a single person, with a cleaning protocol implemented between appointments.
    • Single-use study rooms, undergraduate and faculty lockers, and other similar spaces will be limited for social distancing; some may be unavailable for the fall 2020 semester.
  • Building modifications will be made in consultation with Facilities Management and will align with university guidance.


Employee Experience

The University of Iowa will increase the use of remote-work options for those who can work remotely, adjust break and lunch schedules, and stagger arrival and departure times, among other strategies. Enhancing this practice will reduce the number of individuals within university buildings and on campus, in general. The return-to-campus plan will focus on four key components: support for employees, organizational plans, policy and procedure revisions, and training.

Support for Employees

  • Revise and implement a remote work agreement form to be administered at the org level.
  • Deploy robust mental health support and resources, including online education and training, and individual counseling (remote and in-person delivery).
  • Develop an online ergonomic toolkit for best practices when working remotely.
  • In conjunction with ITS, develop guidelines for remote work equipment and technology support.
  • Provide employee tips for maintaining performance while working remotely.
  • Provide tips for communication and staying connected with supervisors and colleagues.
  • Provide a comprehensive online resource guide for child-care resources, with emphasis on summer care and through the academic year (faculty, staff, and students).

Employee Return-to-Campus Plan Roles and Expectations

Deans and VPs will develop concise written plans for returning employees to work on campus based on prioritized campus functions. These plans also will serve as a needs assessment to prepare campus for the fall 2020 semester.

Deans and VPs will lead the overall organizational response and return-to-campus plan in support of the core mission of the institution (teaching, research, and service).

  • Senior HR leader expectations:
    • Lead the HR aspects of the COVID-19 return to campus plan (three-phase approach)
    • Monitor absenteeism in your organization.
    • Manage employee and supervisor communication.
    • Ensure compliance with COVID-19 training.
    • Lead change management in conjunction with Organizational Effectiveness.
    • Work with Faculty and Staff Disability Services to ensure employees who have a vulnerable health condition or are a part of vulnerable population have support.
    • Coach supervisors on managing remote and hybrid work teams.
  • University HR expectations:
    • Lead the employee aspects of the COVID-19 return-to-work plan.
    • Develop guidelines for COVID-19 workplace protocols, such as online meetings.
    • Lead employee and supervisor training.
    • Develop a process for leave/accommodations.
    • Share health and well-being programs and services.
    • Share child-care resources.
    • Share remote work policies and resources, including ergonomic support and data security guidelines (in partnership with ITS).

Return-to-Campus Plan

Plans will be reviewed by the CIMT in conjunction with deans and VPs. Plans should focus on safely transitioning campus back to a modified in-person working environment and preparing for on-campus teaching and learning for fall 2020.

Deans and VPs are encouraged to appoint an organizational coordinating team to develop unit-level plans for return to campus comprised of a three-step process that will include:

  • Initial pre-planning summary (workflow): A high-level summary and series of questions to prepare for a coordination meeting. This should include the estimated number of workers that will be on campus at 30 days, 60 days, and 120 days.
  • Organizational coordination meeting: After the initial summary is complete, an online meeting will be scheduled with each organization to discuss the plans.
  • Final check list: Unit leadership is asked to rate your organizational readiness to return to campus for fall 2020, based on information from the pre-planning summary, coordination meeting, and continued planning. 

HR Policy/Practice

  • Develop an employee acknowledgement of health and safety measures for deployment on UI Self Service. Employees will be asked to acknowledge their agreement (see ICON course development in training component section).
  • Develop and communicate a process for providing leave and/or accommodations for employees who self-identify as being in a vulnerable population, or who have a household member in a vulnerable population, in alignment with CDC guidelines; ensure a smooth and efficient process at Faculty Staff Disability Services and Leave and Disability Administration.
    • In the communication, confirm that COVID-19-related leaves apply through calendar year 2020.
  • Identify and develop an accommodation process for employees who are unable to comply with health and safety measures due to a disability.
  • Develop a process for employees to voice concerns about other university community members’ noncompliance with health and safety measures.
  • Develop guidelines for addressing employees who do not comply with protective equipment guidance or other health and safety measures.
  • Provide just-in-time training and guidance to the HR community about conducting investigations and holding sensitive employee meetings in a remote work environment.
  • Develop guidelines to protect the security and confidentiality of university data and records in the remote environment (with ITS), including both electronic and hard copy records (within 60 days).

Training Components

University HR will develop online training and education related to health and safety practices for all employees, students, and parents, as well as supervisor training related to leading remote and/or hybrid teams.

  • Student training will include expectations for wearing protective equipment, guidance for social distancing in large groups, cleaning and disinfecting, monitoring their own health, and information on the importance of decreasing disease transmission. Students will be asked to acknowledge that they have completed and agree with the training.
  • Parent training will include steps the university is taking to limit the exposure to and slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus; expectations for students as they return to campus including wearing face masks, not congregating in large groups, and practicing social distancing; cleaning procedures; how parents can support the university’s efforts; and a review of academic policies and the Code of Student Life.
  • Employee training will include updates to policies and procedures for returning to work, expectations for wearing protective equipment, guidance for social distancing, and cleaning and disinfecting. Employees will be asked to acknowledge that they have completed and agree with the training.
  • Supervisor training will include employee engagement strategies, fair and equitable treatment, building and maintaining relationships, onboarding remotely, and what to do if an employee is sick.

Compliance with training requirements will be tracked and reported to deans and VPs.

Additionally, an informational video for parents/guardians will be developed so they are aware of the overall planning and steps the university is taking to limit exposure to and slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus on campus.

Recruitment of Faculty and Staff

  • When possible, online screening and candidate interviews should continue until further notice.
  • Resuming on-campus, in-person interviews on a very limited basis will be allowed effective June 1, 2020. Decisions for scheduling on-campus, in-person interviews should be based on the following guidelines: level of the position, candidates from outside the Johnson County region, et cetera. Protective equipment and social distancing consistent with campus guidelines will be required of all participants. Additional health screenings may be required (such as in the health care environment).

Orientation for new employees

  • University Benefits orientation will remain online until further notice. Notifications are emailed to new employees alerting them to the orientation information and enrollment process.
  • Planning is underway to move university orientation to an online platform. Until this is completed, materials and videos that are typically shared at university orientation will be sent to the HR representative to include in local orientation and onboarding.
  • Orientation for new health care employees will be managed by UI Health Care HR.

Employee Consultations (benefits information, retirement, payroll/tax, etc.)

  • Employee consultations within UHR administrative units will be permitted on a limited basis at scheduled appointment times. Hours will be limited.
  • Whenever possible, employee consultations should remain online until further notice.


Facilities, Buildings, and Grounds

Building Utilization and Guidance

In coordination with colleges and central service units, Facilities Management will develop and implement building-specific plans for social distancing in common areas (entrances, stairwells, hallways, restrooms, etc.). Facilities Management also will develop overall standards so that students, faculty, and staff can easily recognize signage (developed with the Office of Strategic Communication) and understand building operations across campus. The following practices are examples of actions that will be taken:

  • FM@Your Service will serve as the primary intake process to address questions and concerns raised by employees. The questions and requests for information will be directed to building coordinators for review based on guidelines. As campus utilizes FM@Your Service, a knowledge data set will be created to track issues and concerns.
  • The UI, in coordination with individual departments, will install plexiglass dividers in areas where social distancing cannot be practiced, such as public-facing offices, labs, or studios. Individual departments will procure the equipment.
  • Furniture arrangement, staggered staffing, or increased remote work arrangements may offer options for social distancing. Density or regularity of a space’s use can be considered.
  • Changes will be made to minimize surface contact in buildings. These will include touchless door openers, foot openers, and leaving doors open unless they need to be closed for security/safety.
  • Any changes will follow Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and fire code requirements.
  • Communal areas will be reorganized to permit 6 feet of separation and the use of break rooms should be minimized.
  • Shared spaces should allow for 6 feet of social distancing. In spaces where this is not feasible, additional barriers (plexiglass, cubicle walls) should be installed.
  • Restrooms will be configured to support increased hand-washing as well as adequate fixture count to support occupancy and code requirements. At the same time, restroom occupancy should be set to allow for social distancing in these ways:
    • If a restroom has more than one entrance/exit, one should be designated as an entrance, the other an exit.
    • In the case of a single entrance, building occupants will be discouraged from congregating inside a restroom or outside the hallway.
    • Adequate restroom supplies will be provided, especially soap and appropriate hand-drying methods.
    • Personal items brought into a restroom should be limited, with appropriate storage mechanisms supplied (additional hooks will be installed where applicable).
    • Other recommendations for safe restroom operations that reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus will be implemented.

Building Practices (Updated Aug. 7, 2020)

In preparing these building practices, University of Iowa Facilities Management reviewed Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) guidelines, information from industry experts and peer institutions, and input provided from Return to Campus unit plans. Feasibility, time and cost were considerations in making these choices and as new information develops, adjustments will be made, and other options considered.


Dyson hand dryers will remain in operation. The touchless hand dryers are widely deployed in the academic and administrative General Education Fund GEF buildings and, pose little risk if operated correctly. If people use good hand washing techniques, there is little risk.

The alternative would be to re-install paper towel dispensers, which is not possible in all restrooms due to space limits, cost, and environmental impact. Added fixtures create more social distancing challenges in already congested space and dismantle sustainable practices in place. It also creates a significant one-time and ongoing expense. At this time, units/departments will not be allowed to install dispensers or other items in public restrooms. Policy is intentionally silent on users bringing their own paper towels or leaving a supply on the counter, but this will not be a university supported activity. 

FM will not install new automatic faucets, toilet/urinal handles or toilet lids at this time. The campus wide installation would not be possible prior to the start of classes, is cost prohibitive and there is little research regarding associated risk. Each restroom will include messaging regarding proper handwashing and FM will review the decision if new information becomes available.Toilet lids also create additional touchpoints that could pose an infection risk and create the need for additional maintenance and cleaning costs. FM will review the decision if new information becomes available. 

All restrooms fixtures will remain in operation – none disabled, covered or restricted. In our typical building restrooms, there is not an excess of fixture count, so removing select fixtures from use may create circulation congestion. In a time when hand washing is so important, limiting the number of sinks is not ideal.

No additional barriers (such as plexiglass) will be installed between fixtures. These barriers represent one time and ongoing costs (due to additional cleaning) and could create even more congestion in a small space.  

Encourage people to limit time per visit in a restroom, reducing the time of potential exposure.  

Encourage people to estimate the occupancy before fully entering a restroom, waiting outside, using social distancing until others leave, making it easier to social distance inside the restroom.

Publish list of single occupancy restrooms to offer an alternative that may require social distancing in the hallway, rather than in the restroom itself.  

Encourage people to not bring personal items into the restrooms. When necessary, use the hooks provided on stall doors to hang personal items.

Touchless options

Installation of 300 foot door pulls (FM and DPS project) in GEF restrooms (code and ADA compliant).

Elevator controls will remain touch point – no changes planned.  

No additions of ADA style automatic doors due to feasibility, time and cost.  

The relative risk is undefined. Recent indication that there is potential deprioritizing of touch points and infection capabilities. Touch points cannot be removed completely from the building environment. However, at primary building entrances, hand sanitizer will be available, units may provide hand sanitizer and restrooms offer opportunity for hand washing to mitigate risk. Individual units may consider installation of automatic doors paid with unit funds. Code and standards must be followed. The cost of this work is not anticipated to be eligible for FEMA reimbursement.

Plexiglass in GEF Common Areas

It has been determined that no plexiglass in circulation or common areas is needed. If areas of congestion making social distancing difficult once fall classes have started, review and add if needed.


All elevators will be operational, with added signage and guidance for social distancing. Encourage stair use when practical/possible. Encourage elevator users to wait for the next trip if the elevator occupancy is already maximized for social distancing. Elevator occupants can face the elevator walls and limit talking during the ride. Elevator controls, in the cab and in the hall will remain touchpoints and users should wash/sanitize hands after use.


Standard emergency response protocols remain in place. Any actions needed, such as emergency evacuations, should have priority over any social distancing risk mitigation.  

Drinking Fountains

Drinking fountains(fountains, crook neck bottle fillers and touchless bottle fillers) will remain operational. There is a balance of wellness and health in the need for hydration options for building occupants and the additional touch points created by fountain use. Handles will be considered high touch common area items to be cleaned at a higher frequency. Best practices for water safety is to operate fixtures, perform usual maintenance and services. If individuals wish to bring their own water to the buildings, that choice will create a reduction of touch points for them.

Circulation Plan
  • Floor directional signs will not be installed unless special circumstance require so. 
  • Floor Plans will not be posted. They are used to inform the building signage. 
  • FM will create an interactive campus map for web purposes.
  • Campus Planning will provide support and guidance when necessary.
  • Create circulation patterns within the public space of our buildings that allows users to act in, and promote, social distancing.
  • Establish a framework of movement that all can understand and predict how other building users will travel. 
  • Where appropriate, reduce the numbers of doors being used to better control contact points.
  • Lessen the possibility of face to face “collisions”.
  • Be as consistent as possible with our messaging and circulation concept among all University buildings.
  • Promote healthy living by reducing elevator usage to only those that require it.
  • Where one-way or suggested paths are not indicated on plan, remain as far to right side of hall as possible. 
  • Building architecture will drive the circulation framework, but when possible, use a counterclockwise circulation pattern. 
  • When routes are not ADA accessibility, mobility impaired persons are exempt from following the suggested route. 
  • Continue to allow special circumstances when appropriate and when the circumstances do not conflict with social distancing protocol.
  • Maintain all proper egress paths. Building users must be able to exit any door in cases of emergency, including those marked as entry only.
  • Ask students to stop congregating in halls prior to and after classes to the best extent possible.
  • Building occupants, through coordination with Building Coordinators and Facilities Management, will remove any unnecessary items that negatively impacts the circulation and use of public open space. 

Cleaning and Disinfecting

  • CDC guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting will be followed.
  • Frequent cleaning and disinfection of high touch surfaces in common areas will be performed by Facilities Management (plans are being developed by building). Procedures for students, faculty, and staff will be developed to clean classrooms between sessions.
  • Cleaning and surface disinfecting for individually occupied, unit-assigned spaces (e.g., office suites or cubicles) will be required of individual occupants.
  • Cleaning supplies to be used by students, faculty, and staff at their convenience within classrooms will be provided by Facilities Management. (Individuals will be responsible for cleaning their own areas when entering a classroom).
  • Surfaces or equipment used by the general public (such as credit card terminals, fitness center equipment, etc.) will be cleaned by the user or a UI employee after each use.
  • Areas known to be occupied by a SARS-CoV-2-positive/presumed positive student, faculty, or staff will be closed off for at least 24 hours, if feasible. Cleaning and disinfection will be performed per CDC guidelines. If more than seven days have passed since the person was in the area, only routine cleaning and disinfection is needed.

Accessories that could be handled by occupants should be removed as much as practical (e.g. magazines, pamphlets). Other miscellaneous items (e.g. decorations) should be cleared and pens used for signing documents should be disinfected after each use.


Ventilation systems will operate according to CDC Considerations for Institutes of Higher Education. The UI will implement the following strategies:

Operations – Actions: In addition to ensuring proper operation, operating parameters will be adjusted to increase fresh air mechanically (not open doors or windows), as well as increase filtration levels as system age and capabilities allow.

  • Upgrade to MERV 13 across all capable AHUs ($475,000).  Installation planned prior to start of classes.
  • Adjust classroom operations to maximize airflow during occupancy, increasing filtration and fresh air.
  • Purge building air daily, by activating the HVAC systems at least two hours prior to occupancy.  

Verification – Actions: Facilities Management will review and assess building systems, including restroom ventilation, before the start of the fall 2020 semester, using building planned occupancy data to inform operations.  

  • Extensive operational assessment with focus on classroom spaces (600+ rooms) - high density priority 
  • Identify system capabilities related to infection risk mitigation 
  • Document building level ventilation capabilities in academic and administrative (GEF) spaces

Monitoring – Actions:  Monitoring, including advanced Fault Detection Diagnostics, will be used to identify changes in operations or conditions that may affect performance or building conditions.

  • Building Controls Program
  • Fault Detection & Diagnostics (FDD) Program
    • 12,000 pieces of equipment 
    • 53 buildings
    • 90,000 data points
    • 5-min intervals scanning for early detection faults
  • Program Enhancement for additional indicators for Indoor Air Quality monitoring

Communication – Actions: Using FM@YourService, develop a process for addressing concerns regarding ventilation or filtration in campus buildings.  Develop communication processes to ensure that information is available to building occupants and coordinators regarding system operations.

  • Building Coordinator Network engagement
  • Return to Campus Unit Planning
  • FM@YourService COVID-19 enhancement

Buildings containing spaces with no forced ventilation (6% of GEF portfolio square footage).  These buildings have limited risk mitigation capabilities.  The risk of infection in these spaces can be impacted by compliance with face masks and social distancing as well as the number of infectious people in the spaces.  Therefore, limit building use to single occupancy of spaces and offices (a typical UI office is 150-200 sq. ft.) where compliance is occupant dependent and infectious load is limited.  De-prioritize rooms in these spaces for instructional or multi-user space utilization for extended periods of time.  In spaces served by window a/c units seating should be arranged to limit multiple occupants’ exposure to air flow passing by others. 

Portable air purifiers with HEPA filters for wide scale operations are not deployed at present.  If conditions or information change, reconsider this strategy.   Spaces with limited occupancy and specific activities (such as singing) can benefit from correctly sized air purifier units.  In certain circumstances, these units could be useful in spaces utilized by members of a vulnerable population, especially for spaces used with no forced ventilation.  Users/units will be responsible for the purchase and maintenance of the equipment. 


Finance and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)


Emergency protective measures, as defined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are currently eligible expenses under the Public Assistance Program. FEMA has very specific requirements for documenting costs related to the COVID-19 pandemic so that the UI eventually may determine reimbursement eligibility from internal and external sources. As such, departments that are incurring COVID-19 costs will set up new accounts utilizing the following centrally defined grant program numbers. The costs associated with COVID-19 are retroactive to March 17, 2020.

Please note that any costs charged to these accounts (including procurement card purchases) that are determined to be ineligible and/or do not follow the proper review and approval process will be the financial responsibility of the department.

Grant Program 50700001

  • Description: Phase 1 Coronavirus—Emergency Preparedness
  • Types of costs to charge: Protective equipment, masks, face masks, gloves, isolation materials/containment supplies

Grant Program 50700002

  • Phase 2 Coronavirus—Pandemic Event
  • Types of costs to charge: Costs to respond and recover from a specific COVID-19 case/incident (e.g., quarantine, decontamination, cleaning, meals, personal care needs)

Grant Program 50700099

  • COVID-19 Modified Business Operations
  • Types of costs to charge: Incremental costs incurred in order to maintain business continuity (examples: cancellation costs, costs to bring study abroad students back to the U.S., incremental costs to work remotely, etc.)


Information Technology

Information technology has become increasingly critical in the shift to a more virtual campus. The IT community is preparing to support increased technology needs for online education and remote work while continuing to deliver essential services and support for those returning to campus. In this hybrid working and learning environment, IT will focus on the following efforts:

Technical Support

  • Begin to return some Extended Technical Support (ETS) staff to campus as colleges and administrative units transition back onsite.
  • Restructure all IT service offerings, including Help Desk, to support campus partners who are still remote and those who are returning. Re-engineer support models to accommodate IT staff working remotely, on campus, or in a hybrid mode.
  • Review IT equipment needs and services of employees who regularly work both on and off campus. With University Human Resources, develop guidelines for remote work equipment and technology support.

Instruction and Student Success

  • Ensure optimal user experience and improve support of Zoom to integrate with other systems and adapt to new uses.
  • The Remote Instruction Team will work with faculty to develop distance/online/hybrid learning skillsets in effective course design that support and reinforce clear expectations, using the most appropriate student assessment strategies and accounting for learner needs and flexibility.
  • The Remote Instruction Team will work with faculty to develop a new online teaching assistant (TA) orientation program based on the successful face-to-face model.
  • Leverage existing digital media platforms (Panopto, Kaltura, Zoom) to improve student and instructor interaction. Promote best strategies for content production and delivery.
  • Anticipate and respond to campus data and analytics needs in areas such as student success; well-being surveys; diversity, equity, and inclusion; and online/virtual course readiness.
  • Enhance student support services currently being provided remotely, such as advising, academics, and counseling. Enhance MyUI to support new online student processes (orientation, enrollment management, prospecting).
  • Outfit all university classrooms with additional cameras and audiovisual equipment for remote learning and help colleges improve classroom audiovisual capabilities as needed.
  • Install remote recording and audiovisual capabilities in non-classroom spaces as needed to increase space for teaching.
  • Accelerate the investigation of cloud virtual desktop (VDI) solutions as potential paths to offer high-quality, consistent, and secure remote desktop environments for staff and student coursework.

Note: The Academic Experience section of this report contains additional details on how ITS will meet technology needs in support of the academic mission.

Remote Work

  • Address barriers to working remotely, such as technical limitations, compliance restrictions, lack of understanding of available tools, and internet access issues.
  • Implement new security architecture and systems and expand multi-factor authentication to protect data and users in a remote work environment.
  • Implement a remote identity verification process to validate identities before issuing accounts, credentials, or access, and without requiring individuals to come to campus.

The IT community collaborated with campus partners to develop a wealth of online resources to support students, faculty, and staff in remote work and online instruction. Reference the following websites, which are updated regularly:

  • Keep Teaching at Iowa: Information on technologies to support remote teaching, communicating with and supporting students, delivering the course, and facilitating activities and assignments. This site is being expanded for fall 2020 to include guidelines and definitions for improved outcomes.
  • Keep Learning at Iowa: Instructions for accessing online course materials, tips for completing activities and assignments, and study resources. This site is being expanded for fall 2020 to include additional information on minimum technology specifications, as well as links to resources for students to acquire needed technology.
  • Working Remotely: An off-campus checklist, internet options, instructions for accessing key IT services remotely, remote meeting tools, security, file storage, and more.

Parking and Transportation

As the university reopens buildings for daily operation, parking and Cambus operations will change in order to support the students, faculty, and staff. For the latest parking updates, please see the  service alerts page on the Parking and Transportation website.

Parking Operations

Parking and Transportation will resume normal operations, and employees returning to work on campus will park in their assigned permit locations. Employees working remotely have the option of cancelling their permits by contacting Permits issued to employees when they return to campus are subject to availability, as permits will continue to be assigned and issued for all lots. When employees return to campus, they can add themselves to the waitlist(s) by visiting the parking system waitlist in Employee Self Service. The employee will be placed into the normal permit assignment process and assigned a spot based upon availability.

Parking system operations will change to follow new guidance including:

  • Common spaces and high-touch surfaces in parking facilities  will be disinfected following CDC guidelines. Equipment that customers interact with, including elevators and pay stations, will be disinfected by parking and transportation staff midday and overnight.
  • Customers visiting the West Campus Transportation Center (WCTC) are encouraged to email or call ahead to reduce contact time. Additionally, customer occupancy will be limited to four people within the service office to allow for social distancing. All other customers will be asked to wait outside in second floor WCTC atrium.
  • Payment at all parking meters can be made via the Passport Parking mobile app. Motorists who use hourly parking facilities will be directed to complete payment via the in-lane pay station. Parking cashiers will be available to answer questions and assist customers using the hourly parking options.
  • The Motorist Assistance Program is still being provided, but the processes will be modified to allow for social distancing.


Cambus service will continue to operate. For the latest service updates, see the  service alerts page on the Cambus website. Riders are strongly encouraged to use the mobile app,  Transit, for live tracking and departure predictions.

Rider information

  • Unless otherwise indicated, applicable face masks (cloth mask, disposable mask, or face shield with mask) must be worn by all Cambus drivers and riders.
  • Buses are cleaned twice a day with an  EPA-approved cleaner effective against the COVID-19 virus. CAMBUS also completes an intensive deep cleaning of each bus weekly.
  • Drivers are screened at the beginning of shifts, including taking temperatures, and must wear face masks. Employees are provided with protective equipment and cleaning supplies for their work areas.
  • Riders will board and exit the bus using the rear doors until further notice. Riders are asked to do their best to practice social distancing as much as possible while on the bus.

Commuter Programs

Commuter Programs will continue to operate. Several changes have been implemented to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus, and participants in these programs should follow the recommendations of the CDC.

  • The Employee Van Pool will continue to operate. Passengers are encouraged to use hand sanitizer when entering and exiting and to follow everyday prevention guidance from the CDC. Unless otherwise indicated, face masks must be worn by all passengers when in the presence of others.
  • Iowa City Transit and Coralville Transit have adjusted operations based upon guidance from the CDC, FTA, and local public health officials. For the most up-to-date information, U-Pass customers are encouraged to visit the cities’ websites: and
  • The 380Express bus service has adjusted operations based upon guidance from the CDC, FTA, and local public health officials. For the most up-to-date information, riders are encouraged to visit the 380Express Twitter page:
  • The UI discounted fare for 380Express is available only through the mobile app Token Transit. The mobile app allows contactless transactions for university students, faculty, and staff.

Fleet Services

Fleet Services will continue to operate. Several changes have been implemented to help decrease the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

  • Each vehicle is cleaned and disinfected upon return, and high-touch surfaces (e.g., door handles, radio) are cleaned per CDC guidelines. When dropping off a vehicle for maintenance, the customer will take the keys with them and the Fleet Services staff will use a spare key.
  • Staff are screened at the beginning of shifts, including taking temperatures. Unless otherwise indicated, applicable face masks (cloth mask, disposable mask, or face shield with mask) must be worn by all building occupants unless they are alone in a private office.
  • The process for interacting with customers has changed:
    • Employees will use hand sanitizer before handing a customer keys or any materials, including a pen.
    • Keys, pens, and other materials will be sanitized before handing to a customer.
    • High-contact surfaces (e.g., door handles, handrails) will be cleaned according to CDC guidelines.
    • Only one customer is allowed in the office at a time.
    • An acrylic partition has been installed at the customer service counter.
Fleet Services Fuel Island (fueling station)
  • The high-contact surfaces on the fuel island (e.g., pump handles, keypad) will be disinfected frequently, and disinfecting supplies will be available for customer use. 


Procurement and Supply Chain

In order to manage and protect the supply chain, leverage the university’s buying power, and coordinate the logistics of delivery, the following items will be sourced and purchased centrally for COVID-19 preventative measures:

  • Face masks (cloth and disposable)
  • Face shields
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Disinfecting wipes
  • Cleaner
  • Spray disinfectant
  • Gloves (Glove use is discouraged outside of recognized infection or chemical-control protocols in medical or laboratory settings at the university.)
  • Disposable gowns
  • Washable gowns or lab coats
  • N95 masks for research (previously approved by Environmental Health and Safety) and the College of Dentistry

These items have been added to the list of items not allowed on procurement cards or e-vouchers.

Orders will be directed to collegiate or central service unit Shared Services staff. If the department does not utilize the Shared Services team, the department should email  for assistance.

Carver College of Medicine Employee Face Masks and Face Shields

The Biomedical Research Store will handle the distribution of face masks and face shields for all Carver College of Medicine employees.

Plexiglass Barriers

The purchase of products to construct plexiglass barriers may be a qualified expense for reimbursement under the current FEMA declaration.

The labor cost for the creation and installation of these barriers may only be a qualified expense for FEMA reimbursement if provided by a third-party vendor.

Departments can purchase and install barriers; however, the department budget will be responsible for 15% of the FEMA cost share and 100% responsible for any cost not approved by FEMA.

The placement of plexiglass within university buildings will be guided by university health and safety plans for facilities and must be done in accordance with applicable codes, university policies, and other regulatory compliance. (An installation plan will be forthcoming.)


The Research Experience

In order to continue the research and discovery missions of the University of Iowa, the following campuswide procedures will be implemented (colleges will create plans that implement these procedures locally):

Research Restart Considerations

  • Essential research as defined earlier and any new research directly related to COVID-19 will continue to receive priority.
  • The research ramp-up process will be gradual and deliberate, and will help guide the restart of other campus activities. Ramp-up plans should include all on-campus work, including ongoing COVID-19 research.
  • If anyone feels unsafe or uncomfortable in a research space, they should contact the director of their unit, department, or college. Any unresolved issues should be reported the Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR).
  • Trainees and early-career scholars have been especially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and should be given special consideration.
  • Adequate protective equipment must be available, and source control must be implemented before work begins; all safety and biosafety guidelines must be followed.
  • Human subjects research must continue to follow the core principle of protecting the rights, safety, and welfare of research participants and study teams.
  • Animal research will require coordination with the Office of Animal Resources (OAR).
  • The core facilities will open, but with a restricted number of people. Contact the specific core facility for detailed information and scheduling.
  • Studio, performance, and other workspaces on campus will follow these same guidelines to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
  • All research groups approved for a return to campus should consider working in shifts (or alternating days) to minimize the number of people in a space at a given time while maintaining all safety protocols.
  • Everyone accessing shared spaces in campus buildings (e.g., hallways, staircases, restrooms, break rooms) must follow Facilities Management and building-specific guidelines for procedures and protocol.
  • Field studies must adhere to social distancing and other guidelines for reducing the spread of the COVID-19 virus, especially during travel.
  • Research and creative activity conducted at off-campus sites must adhere to their specific requirements.
  • Undergraduate students and visitors should not be used to help ramp-up research activities, except in extraordinary circumstances, which will require prior approval.
Group-Specific Plans

Each laboratory or research group is required to prepare and submit a detailed plan that adheres to Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) Laboratory Guidelines for COVID-19 Prevention. The plan must be specific to the spaces and activities of the research group, must be shared with members of the group, and must be posted in a prominent place in the space. The plan needs to be prepared in consultation with the department/center/institute and submitted for approval to the associate dean for research in the researcher’s college. Any disputes or deviations from these principles will be sent to the vice president for research for resolution.

Human Subjects Research Ramp-Up

Guiding Principles
  • Protecting the rights, safety, and welfare of research participants and study teams in accordance with applicable research regulations and policies remains the priority.
  • Research study visits should continue to occur remotely whenever possible.
  • UI and state/local public health guidelines will be followed when interacting with research participants.
  • Protective equipment or PPE must be available for a study before work begins. Please adhere to the guidance in place at the location where the research is performed. (The use of appropriate protective equipment is based upon the study.)
  • COVID-19 research will continue to be prioritized, but care must be taken to not overburden subjects or put them at unnecessary risk.
  • Health care systems, schools, and other off-campus agencies/facilities must not be overburdened with research requests. The study teams must work closely with these entities to ensure that the research teams abide by all policies in place at each facility.
  • Online consenting and monitoring processes should be followed whenever possible.
Current state

These restrictions are in place for research conducted outside of clinical settings:

Guidance for research related visits issued on March 15, 2020, and information in FAQs remain in effect. See COVID-19 Information for Researchers webpage for complete information.

  • Participant research visits must be performed remotely (e.g., by phone, Zoom, or other means) whenever possible.
  • Research visits that cannot be performed remotely and are not essentialto a participant’s health and/or well-being should be postponed until further notice.
  • Research visits that cannot be performed remotely and are essential to a participant’s health and/or well-being may be performed in person, following all relevant guidance.
Phase I—implemented May 11, 2020
  • As UI Hospitals & Clinics (UIHC) and other health care systems resume some non-essential health care activities, study visits coincident with clinical care may be allowed to resume.
    • Participation in a study must not increase the participant’s risk of exposure to the COVID-19 virus.
    • Study teams must work with the health care system or clinic on appropriate scheduling. Patience will be required to not overburden clinics and other units.
    • In some settings, study teams may need to provide their own protective equipment or PPE.
    • Patients may be uncomfortable returning to the health care setting. Study team members must be respectful of patient concerns should be prepared to modify study visit activities with input from the subject, sponsor, and Institutional Review Board (IRB).
  • Most participant research visits will continue to be performed remotely (e.g., by phone, Zoom, or other means).
  • For non-essential research (i.e., research that is not essential to the health and/or well-being of a participant) face-to-face research visits may resume during regular standard of care medical visits. Participants may not enter UI facilities solely for research purposes.
Phase II—to be implemented as campus and other research settings resume normal operations

Non-essential research visits may resume, following UI and UIHC guidance.

  • On-campus research visits resume outside of clinical settings.
    • All UI safety policies and safety guidance to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus must be followed.
  • Research occurring in schools, long-term care facilities, and other off-campus locations may resume.
    • Care must be taken not to overburden newly-opened facilities.
    • Study teams must work with each participating agency to develop a study plan that incorporates updated safety and operational requirements. For previously approved studies, the teams may be required to update operational plans.
  • Requirements for close interaction or physical contact between study participants and the study team and/or with other participants.
  • The feasibility of social distancing.
  • Likelihood that study team members might be infectious.
  • The availability of appropriate protective equipment or PPE, if required, and the availability of face masks for source control (i.e., face shields and/or face masks intended to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus to others).
  • The availability of viral testing, symptom checks, and health screening before each participant enters a research space.
  • Equipment or other items that may be used or touched by multiple people.
  • Surfaces that may be touched by multiple people.
  • The availability and frequency of disinfection and cleaning products and procedures for surfaces, hands, et cetera.
  • The number and frequency of interactions with each participant.
  • Whether the potential benefits of the research outweigh the risk of participation.
  • Older adults and individuals of any age with serious underlying medical conditions are at higher risk for serious illness from SARS-CoV-2. Research visits should not resume unless there is a direct benefit to these populations.
Guidelines for in-person research study visits:
  • For study visits that will be conducted in person, study teams should contact participants at least 24 hours before the visit.
    • Staff should verbally confirm that the participant is well and explain the screening procedures, if any.
    • For research occurring on campus or in institutional settings, screening procedures in place at the relevant location must be followed.
    • The participant and any participating caregiver must be informed that they will be required to wear a face mask throughout the visit, and whether the face mask will be provided by the study team. Individuals at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19 also may be asked to wear a face shield.
    • Participants should wash their hands before and after entering the research space. Hand sanitizer should be made available if a restroom isn’t nearby.
    • Participants should be asked to report a positive diagnosis for COVID-19 to the research team within 14 days from a research visit.
  • Research participants should be advised to not bring guests to the visit. Children and adults who require assistance may be accompanied by one caregiver. If a caregiver is present, the caregiver also should be screened.
  • Throughout the study visit, including during the screening process, research personnel should follow social distancing guidelines (i.e., 6 feet of physical distancing), except as necessary to complete required procedures.
  • Research-related activities should be conducted by a minimum number of necessary people, with time limitations and minimal personnel density.
  • Researchers should eliminate traditional waiting and common seating areas and utilize non-traditional alternatives (e.g., call ahead registration, waiting in car until called, moving participant directly to research room, etc.).

Animal Subjects Research Ramp-Up

The following measures must be in place:

  • Researchers must follow minimum protective equipment or PPE requirements to enter and work in the animal facility as dictated by the CIMT, OVPR, or Carver College of Medicine.
  • Signage will be posted to indicate requirements to enter and work in each facility.
  • Social distancing guidelines must be followed within procedural spaces and animal rooms.
    • Limited staff in procedural rooms and euthanasia spaces (maximum of two)
    • Limited staff present in animal rooms (maximum of two)
  • OAR staff, including but not limited to husbandry and veterinary staff, have priority to enter and work in animal rooms or procedural spaces.
    • A calendar will be posted outside animal rooms to schedule access times.
  • Approval to remove animals to lab spaces as appropriate depending on the facility of origin and Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) protocol approvals
  • Phased increase in the study timeline as detailed by OAR
  • Phased increase to conduct complex studies (including surgery) as detailed by OAR
  • Phased use of hazards as detailed by OAR and EHS
  • Phased increase of the number of breeding colony cages maintained as detailed by OAR
  • Phased increase in animal orders procured from approved vendors
  • Phased increase in inter-institutional animal transfers
    • Priority will be given to new PIs relocating to the UI or labs with approved COVID-19 research
  • Limited facility training tours and training labs
    • Reduced staff participating in each activity
  • Use of CORE resources as fit to adhere to OAR and Core Directors directives
  • Increase availability of OAR managed resources
    • Drug orders and other supplies
    • OAR anesthesia monitoring services
    • OAR surgical suite support
Considerations for ramp-up

Each laboratory should designate two primary lab contacts to enter animal facilities, conduct studies in the facility, or remove animals to the lab.

  • Lab staff must observe social distancing guidelines when entering animal rooms and may not enter rooms when other research staff or OAR staff are present (if entering the space exceeds the guidelines listed above).
  • OAR staff will have priority to enter animal rooms to conduct animal care/husbandry.
  • UI-recommended protective equipment or PPE must always be worn. OAR will continue to provide disposable lab coats and gloves. Research labs must provide any other required protective equipment or PPE when interacting with other staff/employees (e.g., face masks, cloth masks, disposable masks, or face shields with masks and face shields).
  • Updated restrictions and guidelines for animal research will be announced by OAR and posted on OAR’S COVID-19 website.
  • Complexity and duration of experimental timelines must take into consideration the potential for research ramp down in the event of another public health emergency.
  • Resuming animal-order activities will require a staged approach and prioritization.
    • OAR cannot physically accommodate all investigator groups’ orders (receipt and housing of animal subjects) within the first week of resuming animal-order activities.


The Student Experience

In order to deliver instruction and resume operations via a hybrid, face-to-face model, the University of Iowa will implement the following campuswide procedures. Colleges and central service units will create plans that implement these procedures locally.

Residence Halls and Dining

  • Housing and Dining will remain open after the university moves to online instruction after Thanksgiving break in order to serve those who rely on university services.
  • Housing and Dining staff must comply with university and public health guidance regarding density, social distancing, and protective equipment for those staffing residence halls, dining, and retail operations.
Residence halls:
  • On-campus housing options will be provided for students in accordance with public health and university guidelines.
  • Housing professional staff, resident assistants (RAs), and on-campus students will create a living learning environment.
  • RAs will be present and available to support students. RAs will be provided with appropriate protective equipment to support them in their jobs.
  • Common spaces, such as lounges (if open), will be set up following guidelines to limit gatherings and promote social distancing. (These protocols are in development and specific to each type of common space.)
  • One visitor/guest will be allowed per resident at one time. Visitors/guests must wear a face mask in all public spaces. (These protocols are in development.)
  • Rooms will be set aside for emergency use, such as for illness, student interaction concerns, or other matters, per protocol.
  • Custodial procedures will follow CDC guidance.
  • Touchless payment will be implemented to eliminate the need for staff to handle IowaOne and credit cards.
  • Custodial procedures will follow CDC guidance.
  • Self-screening of employees will follow public health and university guidelines.
  • In market places:
    • Tables will be moved to ensure 6 feet of separation, with no more than six chairs per table.
    • Customer counts will be monitored and controlled to prevent crowding.
    • All self-service food has been discontinued. All menu items will be served to students upon request.
    • Physical barriers will be added to at least 6 vertical feet to minimize respiratory contact between staff and students.
    • Signage, stanchions, and floor stickers will be used to encourage social distancing, including for those awaiting market place entry.
    • An online ordering system will be developed as an alternative to dining in the market places. Pick-up locations for online orders will be appropriately distanced from users waiting to enter the market places.
  • In retail operations:
    • Access will be monitored at entrances and controlled to facilitate social distancing.
    • Each location will have a designated entrance and exit.
    • Online ordering will be encouraged.
    • Physical barriers and stanchions will be used to separate customers and staff.
    • All self-service food will be discontinued. All menu items will be served to customers upon request.
    • Locations where social distancing cannot be achieved will be closed.
    • Tables will be moved to ensure 6 feet of separation, with no more than six chairs per table.
    • No refillable containers will be allowed.
    • The Street Hawk food truck will not be used because the layout of the truck does not provide opportunities for social distancing.

Hybrid Experiences for Student Clubs and Organizations

  • The university is developing guidance for student organizations that will outline how to host events, meetings, and outside gatherings. This guidance will:
    • Follow public health and university guidance regarding density, protective equipment, large gatherings, and social distancing.
    • Programs, events, or meetings with 50 or more attendees will need to be held in a virtual format.
    • Programs, events, or meetings with 50 or fewer attendees may be held in person as long as university guidance is followed, particularly regarding social distancing and face masks.
    • Create opportunities for hybrid engagement through online meetings and online events/programs similar to the spring 2020 semester.
    • Provide videos and content to incoming students during orientation about how they can get involved at Iowa.
    • Collaborate with academic affairs and campus partners to create and sustain engagement opportunities, including service-learning.
    • Provide support and engagement advising for student organizations by the Leadership, Service, and Civic Engagement team; Student Engagement and Campus Programs team; and Fraternity and Sorority Life team.
    • Allow for the continued development and implementation of the Hawkeye Engage online tool.

Hybrid Experience for the Iowa Memorial Union

  • All IMU staff members, vendors, and tenants must follow public health and university guidance regarding density, protective equipment, large gatherings, and social distancing.
  • Online ordering and social distancing pick-up options for textbooks and Iowa Hawk Shop materials will be provided, including drive-up and in-person options.
  • Limit seating in lounge spaces, the River Room, and other open spaces to promote social distancing and decrease density.
  • ITS will develop a plan to create social distancing space between work stations for computers and learning commons spaces.
  • The IMU will partner with classroom scheduling regarding use of meeting rooms for smaller classes.
  • The IMU will partner with Academic Support and Retention to ensure social distancing for students attending supplemental instruction in the Academic Resource Center, in addition to providing online opportunities.
  • The Iowa House Hotel will continue to be used for emergency room stays and isolation cases, as appropriate and needed.
    • Social distancing will be implemented among reserved rooms to limit engagement in the hallways and elevators.
    • Public health cleaning recommendations for hotels will be followed.
    • Breakfast options will be limited until further notice.
  • Food Pantry at Iowa will continue using a reservation system and will limit the number of individuals, including volunteers, present during operating hours.
    • Donations will be accepted at the front desk of the Iowa House Hotel starting with the fall 2020 semester, based on need.
  • The Clothing Closet will operate a sign-up process for clients similar to Food Pantry at Iowa.
  • Custodial procedures will follow CDC guidance.
  • Signage and guidance for density restrictions in hallways, restrooms, elevators, and entrance/exits will be posted throughout the building.

Recreational Services

  • Preparations are being made for a July/August 2020 opening.
    • Membership fees will be reinstated when the buildings are reopened.
  • Saunas and steam rooms will be closed until further notice.
  • Equipment checkout and towel service will not be available until further notice.
  • Climbing wall and running tracks will adhere to guidelines and social distancing.
  • Swimming pools will adhere to phasing guidelines provided by USA Swimming in accordance with state of Iowa guidelines.
  • Tennis will adhere to phasing guidelines provided by the US Tennis Association in accordance with state of Iowa guidelines.
  • Rowing will adhere to phasing guidelines provided by US Rowing in accordance with state of Iowa guidelines.
  • In-person programs, events, and activities will be limited to individual sport play only, provided social distancing and protective equipment is feasible. Online or remote delivery formats may be available.
  • In-person lessons will be limited to individual lessons, provided social distancing and protective equipment is feasible. Online delivery formats may be available.
  • Access to cardio and strength training equipment and machines will be limited to allow for social distancing.
  • Athletics will coordinate and partner with Recreational Services regarding use of the facilities in accordance with NCAA, university, and public health guidance.
  • Custodial procedures will follow CDC guidance.
  • Signage will be posted throughout the buildings to notify users of social distancing expectations and additional cleaning procedures.

University Libraries

The Academic Experience section of this report contains additional details on how the University Libraries will meet student needs.

Multicultural and International Student Support and Engagement: Cultural Centers

  • The centers will follow public health and university guidance regarding density, protective equipment, large gatherings, and social distancing.
  • Programs and events will follow university guidance.
  • Staff will provide opportunities for hybrid engagement through meetings and online events and programs.
  • Food cooked and/or served by students and staff members for other students will not be allowed until further notice.
    • Food must be provided by University Catering or another vendor, per university guidance.
  • Custodial procedures will follow CDC guidance.
  • Signage and density restriction guidance for common areas will be provided.

Student Support Services

  • All staff members must follow public health and university guidance regarding density, protective equipment, large gatherings, and social distancing.
  • Student Health will continue to provide services for students online and in person, as appropriate and necessary, in order to meet the health care needs of students in accordance with university and public health guidance.
    • Student Health will collaborate with the Johnson County Department of Public Health to assist with testing, contact tracing, and isolation of students diagnosed with or exposed to SARS-CoV-2.
  • University Counseling Service (UCS) will continue to provide services to students online and in person.
    • UCS is providing online services to students in eight states and Washington, D.C. 
    • UCS will determine its return to campus during summer 2020 and will implement a physical distancing plan for the office and counseling environment with no interruption to services.
    • UCS will restart group counseling. Group members will meet online, via Zoom, with UCS group facilitators guiding the conversation.
    • UCS offers many online resources, which can be found on its website.
  • Student Care and Assistance will continue to provide support, assistance, and emergency funds to students who encounter a crisis or emergency situation.
  • The UI Early Intervention Team will continue to coordinate care, support, and resource referrals for students who need additional support in and out of the classroom.
  • The Rape Victim Advocacy Program will continue to provide services, programs, and support for students online and as appropriate and in accordance with university and public health guidance, potentially in 1:1 and in-person settings.
  • Student Disability Services will continue to provide services and support for students online and as appropriate and in accordance with university and public health guidance, potentially in 1:1 and in-person settings.
  • The Women’s Resource and Action Center will continue to provide services, programs, and support for students online and as appropriate and in accordance with university and public health guidance, potentially in 1:1 and in-person settings.

Student Behavior and Compliance

  • The Code of Student Life and Student Misconduct Procedure include rules and procedures regarding student behavior, expectations, and accountability that help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and maintain a healthy campus environment.
  • Utilizing a student agreement regarding expectations for compliance and requiring submission prior to the start of the fall 2020 semester may be an option to increase accountability.
    • MyUI and/or ICON may be the best vehicle to deliver an accountability agreement by creating a screen that appears on initial login.



Asymptomatic: Showing no symptoms of disease. A person infected with the virus can be asymptomatic because they are in an early stage of infection and symptoms have not yet developed (“pre-symptomatic”), or they may not develop any symptoms at all during their infection.

Community transmission/spread: Infections identified in a given geographic area without a history of travel elsewhere and no connection to a known case.

Contact tracing: The process of identifying, assessing, and managing people who have been exposed to a contagious disease to prevent onward transmission. (Source: World Health Organization)

Droplet transmission/spread: A mode of transmission for a contagious disease that involves relatively large, short-range (less than 6 feet) respiratory droplets produced by sneezing, coughing, or talking. (Source: CDC)

Face covering: A cloth material that covers the nose and mouth. It can be secured to the head with ties or straps or simply wrapped around the lower face. It may be factory-made, sewn, or made from an old T-shirt, bandana, hand towel, or scarf and rubber bands.

Face shield: Protective equipment that covers the wearer's entire face from potentially infectious materials.

Quarantine: Quarantine is used to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others. Quarantine helps prevent spread of disease that can occur before a person knows they are sick or if a person is infected with the virus without feeling symptoms. People in quarantine should stay home, separate themselves from others, monitor their health, and follow directions from their state or local health department. (Source: CDC )

Self-isolation: Isolation is used to separate people infected with the virus (those who are sick with COVID-19 and those with no symptoms) from people who are not infected. People who are in isolation should stay home until  it’s safe for them to be around others. In the home, anyone sick or infected should separate themselves from others by staying in a specific “sick room,” or area and using a separate bathroom (if available). (Source: CDC)

Symptomatic: Showing symptoms of disease. The most common symptoms of COVID-19 include: cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fever, chills, muscle pain, sore throat, and new loss of taste or smell.

Due to the fluid and evolving nature of this situation, this plan may occasionally be updated.