The University of Iowa is taking proactive measures to protect its faculty and staff and will follow the university’s Critical Incident Management Plan.

Throughout this process, the university will maintain its commitment to excellence in higher education and a positive employee work experience.

Resources

Steps for Self-Reporting COVID-19 Diagnosis to the University (Employees and Supervisors)
Word document    PDF

Communications Template: Employee Self-Reports Positive Test
Word document    PDF

Working Remotely
Guide to working remotely

Frequently Asked Questions

Health, Safety, and Well-Being

With community and statewide spread of the COVID-19 virus we are working under the expectation that all university employees are at risk of exposure. We are encouraging all employees to practice social distancing and follow hand hygiene recommendations. Employees may work unless they develop symptoms consistent with an influenza like illness or the COVID-19 infection. In that case, see the next question.

Employees who develop symptoms should contact their healthcare provider and self-isolate for a minimum of 7 days and at least 72 hours of being free of fever without the aid of any medication for it, provided that other symptoms have also improved.

If you are still reporting to work on campus and are experiencing symptoms consistent with or are diagnosed with COVID-19, please stay home and report your illness to your supervisor and/or local HR leader. Your supervisor or senior HR leader will follow the COVID-19 self-reporting protocol to request a cleaning and ensure appropriate notification to fellow employees.  

Steps for Self-Reporting COVID-19 Diagnosis to the University (Employees and Supervisors): Word document | PDF

The University of Iowa has developed guidelines for supervisors in the event an employee becomes symptomatic or tests positive for COVID-19.

These guidelines follow Iowa Department of Public Health recommendations and include requiring the employee to remain home for at least seven days after symptoms appear, communicating to other employees within the unit or department, and closing off and cleaning the employee’s workspace.

It is important to NOT share the names of or personal information about individuals who have self-identified as having contracted the virus. Supervisors can find resources, including a communication template, by speaking with your human resources representative or through the links below:

COVID-19 Mitigation Strategies and Protocols Word document    PDF

Communications Template: Employee Self-Reports Positive Test Word document    PDF

Yes, the protocol still applies if the employee has been working remotely for fewer than 14 days.  The communication to co-workers should include a statement stating the person has been working remotely for less than 14 days to help others understand the potential exposure.

The CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces by using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Follow the CDC’s recommendations for using a face mask:
    • The CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a face mask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
    • Face masks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others.
    • The use of face masks is crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).

University Human Resources is also encouraging you to watch for signs of stress, which is a natural response to a crisis, and has resource guides and videos online to help you know when to take action, and how to help yourself, your colleagues, and anyone you care about.

We know that dealing with this evolving situation can cause stress and anxiety. Please remember that there are campus and community resources available to support you:

If a student is in need of additional support, please connect them with one of these campus or community resources: 

The UI strives to be a welcoming and inclusive campus, and it is important to avoid assumptions about who may or may not have come into contact with someone carrying the virus based on their identity. We must recognize the harm we do to our community if we allow ourselves to make such assumptions.

The CDC has compiled resources that can be used to help counter stigma related to COVID-19. The Iowa Department of Public Health also has created a graphic for combating stigmatization and bias.

If you feel you’ve been a victim of or witnessed bias, Equal Opportunity and Diversity (EOD) can provide you with complaint options (both informal and formal) and resources. Contact EOD at 319-335-0705 or diversity@uiowa.edu (link sends e-mail) or report a concern here: https://diversity.uiowa.edu/report-concern.

You may also access confidential resources including:

Please see UI Health Care: What you need to know about the 2019 Novel Coronavirus for the most up-to-date information. 

Academics and Business Continuity

Unless you perform a critical function that must be completed on campus, UI employees outside of UI Health Care have been directed to work remotely in accordance with the state public disaster emergency, which the governor has extended until April 30, 2020. 

Each of you contributes to the successful operation of the university, but working from home supports social distancing and reduces the threat of COVID-19 for everyone, including colleagues who must perform essential services on campus. 

You can find more information about the university’s telecommuting guidelines on HR’s Family Services webpage.

Information Technology Services encourages you to test out the technologies you might need to work from off-campus. Here is a list of common IT services used for remote work and how to access them.

Information Technology Services (ITS) is ready to help with employee computer-related support. Please use one of the following options:

This Working Remotely Guide can be used as a resource.

The IT Accessibility group is available to assist with any accessibility questions you may encounter during this time of transition. Challenges related to digital accessibility issues place people with disabilities at risk of being underserved or left behind. Accessible technology can mitigate these risks, and enable full participation in academics, employment, and other campus activities. Accessible technologies can benefit a wide range of other users as well. Request an accessibility consultation through the group’s online form, email the UI’s IT Accessibility Coordinator Todd Weissenberger, or visit ITAccessibility.uiowa.edu for more information.

Drive-up wireless service is being offered to allow UI students, faculty, and staff access to high-speed internet without having to enter campus buildings.

The service is currently available at the Hancher South Lot (Lot 55), Hawkeye Commuter Lot (Lots 85 and 39), and the Multi-Tenant Facility and Biomedical Research Support Facility parking lots at Oakdale. It will soon be offered at the Myrtle Avenue Lot (Lot 48) and other locations. Visit the Working Remotely Guide on the ITS website for updates.

Users should join the eduroam network and log in with their HawkID@uiowa.edu and HawkID password.

If none of these solutions work for your situation, please request help through the Keep Learning at Iowa page.

Buildings are closed to the public; however, those with card access will be able to enter the building. To keep the building clean and safe for all staff, including custodial staff, public spaces within the buildings will be closed. Those entering buildings should do so only to complete a specific activity or task, such as record a lecture or pick up a book, and then leave. This excludes UI Health Care and Student Health, which have implemented their own building security measures.

Updates on notable closures and service changes can be found on the campus services page.

If an employee does not have full-time meaningful work that can be performed remotely, their supervisor may assign additional work and/or training that can be completed remotely, or they may be reassigned to other areas of critical need on campus.

Employees whose departments do not have full-time meaningful work for them to perform in their regular role should discuss reassignment with their supervisor, and then sign up for the temporary reassignment pool via UI Self Service.

Best practice is at a departmental level, but certainly there are cases where the organizational level makes sense. For example, ITS has an overarching org. level; however, Business Services has individual plans because their operational needs are different. 

There is no mandate to use the Kuali Ready system; however, units are strongly encouraged to have continuity systems in place.

Kuali Ready is a continuity-planning tool originally developed by the University of California at Berkeley specifically for use at institutions of higher learning. Kuali Ready allows units to easily create departmental continuity of operations plans that empower departments to continue mission-critical functions when faced with adverse events. The application incorporates planning and emergency preparedness best practices while focusing on the unique business operations of higher education. This UI Continuity Planning Tool is accessible to the University of Iowa community through the following link: https://uiowa.kuali.co/ready.

The date of the academic year remains unchanged. The last day of classes will be May 8 and finals week will be May 11-15.

The date of the academic year remains unchanged. The last day of classes will be May 8, and finals week will be May 11–15. Faculty should communicate their final exam or alternate assessment plans (such as take-home exams, papers, etc.) directly to their students.

Supporting Students and Campus

The University of Iowa has established a fund to support students who may be adversely affected by unforeseen emergencies, such as the housing and food insecurity, travel expenses, medical costs, income disruptions, and other financial challenges students are facing because of COVID-19.

Donate at https://www.foriowa.org/iowa-stories/iowa-story.php?namer=true&isid=88.

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, UI Hospitals & Clinics is in critical need of the following items.

Personal protective equipment (PPE) including:

  • N95 Masks
  • Isolation/surgeon masks
  • Face masks with attached eye shield
  • Full face shields
  • Isolation gowns

If you are able to donate any of these items, please complete a donation form and bring a copy with your donation.

Donations will be accepted at the main entrance near Concierge Services from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Please call Concierge Services at 319-356-1900 or 319-678-5500 before you plan to deliver a donation.

Monetary donations

The biggest impact can be made through monetary donations to the UI Center for Advancement, which provides support for the hospitals’ most urgent needs.

NOTE: At this time, UIHC and the UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital have temporarily suspended all other in-kind donations.

COVID-19 Pay Practices

We understand that many Hawkeyes are worried about their income during what is already a stressful time. With this in mind, and in accordance with state and federal law (including recent federal acts) and the direction of the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, the University of Iowa will keep all employees in paid status through the end of the spring 2020 semester, regardless of funding source.

DETAILS

  • If you are a member of the regular faculty or staff, you will continue to be paid as normal.
  • If you are an employee with a fixed term of employment, such as a resident assistant, you will continue to be paid as normal through the end of the term of your employment.
  • If you are an hourly employee paid bi-weekly, including student employees, and are unable to work because of this public health emergency, you will be paid for up to 80 hours of time based on the hours you would have expected to work this semester. Federal work-study will continue to be paid, in keeping with the Federal Work Study Electronic Guidance.

If you would like to know more, you can find a list of FAQs hereIf you have additional questions about pay and paid leave, please reach out to your designated HR representative.

They will consult with Faculty and Staff Disability Services if you are part of the main campus, or with Leave and Disability Administration if you are a member of the UI Health Care team.

UI Health Care will issue more specific guidelines for its employees on the application of these new rules.

We understand some members of our community may be unable to work because they are sick, caring for a loved one, or because of other complications due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If you find yourself in any of these circumstances, you will receive additional paid leave, and your job will be protected until you return. 

DETAILS

  • The Federal Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act provides 80 hours of new paid sick leave (prorated for part-time employees) for COVID-related needs. 
  • The Board of Regents also has authorized the university to provide additional sick leave for COVID-19-related needs and has waived the cap on family-caregiving leave.
  • Additionally, the Federal Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act provides up to 12 weeks of job-protected FMLA leave for employees who need to care for children during school closures.

If you would like to know more, you can find a list of FAQs hereIf you have additional questions about pay and paid leave, please reach out to your designated HR representative.

They will consult with Faculty and Staff Disability Services if you are part of the main campus, or with Leave and Disability Administration if you are a member of the UI Health Care team.

UI Health Care will issue more specific guidelines for its employees on the application of these new rules.

Human Resources

Yes. The university has the right to reassign employees to work outside their usual classifications/responsibilities to the extent they are qualified and can safely perform the work.  Supervisors should consult with their local University Human Resources (UHR) representative so they are informed and prepared to answer questions or concerns from affected employees.

Yes. The university has the right to temporarily adjust employees’ work schedules to meet operational demands as long as the adjustments comply with UI policies or work rules. Supervisors should consult their local UHR representative, Employee and Labor Relations, or Health Care Employee and Labor Relations about the applicable rules for the employees with whom they are working.

Yes, if the department head/dean/vice president determines to close all or part of the department’s operations based on an emergency. The UI Operations Manual policy addressing Dealing with a Disrupted Work or Academic Environment recognizes that the workplace may be closed due to crisis situations that adversely affect normal university operations.

Yes. All University of Iowa employees outside of UI Health Care are to work remotely unless the critical function they provide must be competed on campus. Please refer to the Disrupted Workplace Policy and information relating to Flexible Work Arrangements available on the Family Services website.

Yes. Employees who provide essential services are expected to report to work as scheduled. Essential services are those required to maintain critical safety and security of students, patients, and university property. Supervisors are expected to notify employees as to whether they are designated as performing essential services during the current campus emergency situation.

If an employee who provides essential services is unable to report to work as scheduled due to illness or injury, they must report their absence to their supervisor as soon as possible so that staffing coverage can be arranged. Absences related to COVID-19, (including the employee’s illness/quarantine, a family member’s illness/quarantine, or the need to care for minor children due to school/childcare closures) will be charged to newly-authorized federal paid leave first, then to other university paid leave accruals as described above.

University Human Resources Family Services office has resources to assist in finding alternate child care arrangements. This site will be updated regularly as new information and resources for our caregivers of children becomes available. Managers should direct employees here for assistance.

In addition, the new Federal Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion provides up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave for employees who are unable to work due to the need to care for a minor child due to school or childcare closures as described above.

For more information, please see Working, Learning, and Leading Remotely.

Yes. Employees should know what to expect before a campus emergency occurs. In departments that expect to remain operational, employees need to know what role they will play. Therefore, it is prudent planning to include employees in the development of contingency plans, inform them of their anticipated role in the event of an emergency, and inform them of the communications plan.

The majority of the decisions that departments will make are well within the UI’s right to manage the workplace. However, departments should advise Employee and Labor Relations or Health Care Employee and Labor Relations as changes are implemented. ELR or Health Care ELR will notify the union(s) if necessary and as soon as possible.

In the event that a healthy employee wishes to stay home to avoid possible exposure, they are expected to comply with existing departmental policy by requesting time off from their supervisor. To be considered an authorized absence, the time off must be approved by the supervisor in advance. Approval of vacation will be at the supervisor’s discretion in order to meet operational needs. However, supervisors are encouraged to offer reasonable flexibility when possible without interfering with operational needs.

Yes. Employees may be sent home if they are sick. The university is required to maintain a safe and healthy environment and has broad discretion over when and where an employee is at work. Supervisors are not expected to determine whether someone has a pandemic illness.

Yes. The information received is to be used to support and monitor the health and safety of the workplace and will be treated as a confidential medical record.

Yes. Services provided by the UI Employee Assistance Program are important components of the university’s established emergency preparedness plans. Employees may also access mental health services as covered under the university medical plans.

If a supervisor observes or the employee discloses a health condition that is related to the employee’s ability to perform their job duties during a campus emergency, or evacuate safely, the supervisor should notify Faculty and Staff Disability Services or Leave and Disability Administration (UI Health Care) and they will facilitate discussions with the employee. This process ensures compliance with the UI policy in support of the American with Disabilities Act (ADA). Procedure information is available at https://hr.uiowa.edu/support/faculty-and-staff-disability-services/americans-disabilities-act-ada.

Yes. It is advisable to request employees’ contact information if the department has determined that it may need to contact certain employees responsible for performing essential functions during periods they may not be scheduled to work. Such information may include personal telephone numbers, cellular phone numbers, fax numbers, e-mail addresses, et cetera.

Yes, if there is a business need to do so and the employee is given reasonable notice of the requirement. Management should maintain only such information as specifically authorized by the employee and should inform the employee of the context in which this information will be used. Personal telephone numbers will be confidential; the list will not be openly distributed and will only be accessed in an emergency situation.

Yes. When traveling on UI business, the traveler should be reasonably available during regular work hours, considering the business-related activities involved in the trip.

Possibly. In the health care environment (UI Hospitals & Clinics, including Iowa River Landing, Dental Clinics, and Student Health Services), a primary consideration is maintaining patient care and ensuring patient safety. UI Health Care may determine that additional precautionary measures are necessary to protect patient safety in the event of a campus emergency, including a public health emergency. Health care employees should consult with their supervisor or HR representative for relevant information and updates.

For more information, see: COVID-19 Updates from UI Hospitals & Clinics.

All University of Iowa employees outside of UI Health Care are to work remotely unless the critical function they provide must be competed on campus. If directed by a health care provider to self-isolate, an employee should work remotely if meaningful work is available, and they will remain in pay status during the Spring 2020 semester as long as they are working or available to work.  If the individual becomes ill, paid sick leave is available as described above.

Your April 1 incentive payment was reflective of your February facility visits and a completed Personal Health Assessment in 2020, so there were no changes. You needed to have had four or more facility visits in February 2020 to earn your incentive. Moving forward, your May 1, June 1, and July 1 incentives will be 50% of your corresponding monthly membership due which are being either pro-rated based upon number of facility open days or waived by UI Recreational Services. UI Recreational Services is providing special guidance at https://recserv.uiowa.edu/covid-19-special-announcement regarding closures and membership fees. Your completed Personal Health Assessment in 2020 is still required to be eligible for any membership incentives. Details about the Recreation Membership Incentive Program: hr.uiowa.edu/well-being/livewell/recreation-membership-incentive-program.

As stated in the March 18 campus message, pre-scheduled non-essential meetings and events are to be canceled, rescheduled, or held virtually for the rest of the semester. These measures are expected to result in cancelations of most campus visits by non-UI guests including interview candidates and invited presenters, or those meetings may be held virtually. No new non-essential meetings should be scheduled until further notice.

Any visitors to campus arriving from a country with a CDC Level 3 travel warning due to COVID-19 will be required to self-isolate for 14 days in alignment with guidance from the CDC and the Iowa Department of Public Health.  This means staying primarily indoors, avoiding direct contact with others, and not resuming social activities until the social isolation period ends.  For more information on self-isolation, see this guidance from the CDC.

Colleges and vice-presidential units are working with their respective senior human resources leaders to identify staff and student employees who could potentially be reassigned to other areas of critical need on campus.

Employees who have communicated with their supervisor about reassignment can now sign up for reassignment by following this link to UI Self Service.

Travel

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has canceled all nonessential business travel for state agencies, which includes Iowa’s public universities, and has not specified an end date. Accordingly, all university-related, non-essential domestic and international travel is prohibited until further notice, effective immediately. This includes travel to conferences, for training or meetings, or athletic travel.  Essential travel is defined as travel that is essential to the operation of the university, that no alternative method of convening is possible, and that the health and safety of state of Iowa employees will be appropriately managed.

Previous:

The Board of Regents suspended university-sponsored international travel for 30 days effective March 5, 2020, and will extend the suspension on a weekly basis as needed. 

Essential travel is defined as travel that is essential to the operation of the university, that no alternative method of convening is possible, and that the health and safety of state of Iowa employees will be appropriately managed. It must:

  • Support the health care clinical enterprise
  • Preserve the safety of a research subject 
  • Preserve the results of a research activity 
  • Earn academic credit that is necessary to meet a graduation requirement
  • Maintain critical business continuity for the university

Domestic and international trips currently routing for approval or already approved in ProTrav, will be marked “Canceled per Iowa Governor directive” and both the traveler and approver will be notified of this change. If a trip was previously approved and is deemed essential, per the guidelines above, you will need to resubmit your request through ProTrav. You can find more information about the approval process and how to submit a request on the travel page.

If a trip was previously approved and is deemed essential, per the guidelines above, you will need to resubmit your request through ProTrav. You can find more information about the approval process and how to submit a request on the travel page.

With community and statewide spread of the COVID-19 virus we are working under the expectation that all university employees are at risk of exposure. We are encouraging all employees to practice social distancing and follow hand hygiene recommendations. Employees may work unless they develop symptoms consistent with an influenza like illness or the COVID-19 infection. In that case, see the next question.

ProTrav has been updated to display a message when trying to create a trip to a banned destination.

“University-sponsored” does not mean personal travel but includes any of the following:

  • University staff, faculty, or students who are traveling due to their position with the university.
  • Funding is being provided by the university.
  • Funding is provided by a grant or contract that is managed by the university.
  • Funding is provided by a third party, but the purpose of the travel is due to the staff or faculty’s position within the university.

Given the uncertainty facing travel, the university will allow travel insurance to be purchased. Please check your funding source to ensure costs are allowable (i.e., NIH grants).

The traveler or department should make a reasonable effort to get expenses (conference registration, hotel deposits, etc.) refunded. Nonrefundable expenses will be covered by the original funding source for the trip if allowed. Departments should confirm allowability from the external sponsor funding sources to ensure costs are allowable. If not allowable, then nonrefundable travel costs should be funded by the department.

For those students, faculty, and staff who are already out of the country, we will recall students, faculty, and staff from any country that the CDC designates a Level 3 travel warning. The expenses incurred to return after a business travel event is canceled and/or the travel designation increases to a Level 3 can be submitted as business expenses and paid for by university funds.

Yes, the university will allow change fees to be paid for by university funds.

Hotel, plane ticket, or other costs the university prepaid in support of the business trip need to be reimbursed by the employee prior to travel. The request for travel in ProTrav needs to be updated to state the trip was canceled and the university is not responsible for any costs.

Prior to travel, the employee would:

  • Cancel or change all reservations (that can be changed) from the university’s name to their personal name (credit card reservations, etc.).
  • Reimburse the university for any funds already expended.
  • Follow normal departmental procedures for approval of personal time and use of leave accruals.
  • Sign a waiver/release for themselves and any family members accompanying them stating: 1) all travel is personal and not business, 2) no business activity will be conducted, 3) no university travel insurance will apply, and 4) release and indemnify the university from any and all claims.

Visitors to campus (including visiting scholars, interview candidates, presenters, etc.) arriving from a country with CDC Level 3 travel warning due to COVID-19 will be required to self-isolate for 14 days in alignment with guidance from the CDC and the Iowa Department of Public Health. This means staying primarily indoors, avoiding direct contact with others, and not resuming social activities until the self-isolation period ends. For more information on self-isolation, see this guidance from the CDC. There are currently no restrictions on visitors from areas that are not designated as CDC Level 3.

If you are traveling in the capacity of your position at the university, regardless of funding, the travel restrictions apply.

Yes, this qualifies as university-sponsored travel.

If a university employee is outside the U.S. and traveling on university business:

  • The traveler should immediately notify Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI) and their department (HR or administrative contact) of their situation.
  • Given the specific circumstances, the additional expenses will either be covered by CISI and/or the university as a business expense.

The university recommends purchasing flight insurance for domestic travel. Departments can fund the cost of insurance.

Yes, regardless of personal travel destination, UI health insurance would continue to cover the employee. Further details are below.

  • UIChoice: There would be coverage for both covered emergency (under Level 1) and non-emergency (under Level 3) medical services. For outpatient services, the member would need to pay for the services and obtain an itemized receipt, and the UI recommends obtaining a copy of the medical note in case follow-up medical care is needed when the member returns. An International Claim Form would need to be submitted to BCBS Global Core when the member returns to the U.S. to be reimbursed. If they are admitted as an inpatient, the BCBS Global Care Service Center can assist in arranging direct billing when a member is hospitalized at a BCBS facility, and the member would only be responsible to pay any deductible and coinsurance up to the out-of-pocket maximum. The hospital should submit the claim on behalf of the member. The member should also call Wellmark BCBS for precertification or preauthorization. If inpatient care is not arranged through the Service Center, the member would need to pay the entire bill up front and then submit an international claim to BCBS Global Core when the member returns to the U.S. to be reimbursed.
  • UISelect: There would be coverage for only covered emergency medical services under Level 2. The same BCBS Global Core procedures for outpatient and inpatient would apply. For outpatient procedures, the member would need to pay for services and be reimbursed by filing an international claim to BCBS Global Core. With regard to inpatient care at a BCBS facility, where the BCBS Global Core Service Center has been contacted about and direct billing has been arranged, the member should not need to pay up front except for any deductible or coinsurance one would normally pay, up to the out-of-pocket maximum. The hospital should submit the claim on the member’s behalf.

 

Yes, but through your own personal vendor.

The Principal (through our life insurance policy) offers some services. Employees may learn more here: advisors.principal.com/publicvsupply/GetFile?fm=GP60039&ty=VOP&EXT=.VOP.

And for those with ZURICH AD&D coverage, they may learn more about their ancillary travel insurance coverages here: hr.uiowa.edu/sites/hr.uiowa.edu/files/2019-12/University%20of%20Iowa%20GTU%202855720%20%20Travel%20Assist%20Card.pdf and www.zurichtravelassist.com/.