Health Information

The university has been developing and implementing new policies and procedures to help lower the risk of coronavirus exposure and spread. 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. UI Health Care has issued more specific guidelines for its employees.
For detailed information, read the university’s Fall 2020 Steps Forward Plan.

Campus Health and Distancing Practices


To protect employee health and safety, students, faculty, and staff must:

  • Wear applicable face coverings (cloth covering, disposable or cloth mask, face shield) in all university buildings, including classrooms, unless alone in a private office. The university will provide each student, faculty, and staff member:
    • 2 cloth masks
    • 2 disposable masks
    • 1 face shield
  • Follow social distancing guidelines of maintaining at least 6 feet of separation from others on campus when feasible.
  • Stay home (and report) if you develop any symptom(s) consistent with COVID-19.


COVID-19 Symptoms

Do NOT return to class or work if you are experiencing any COVID-19 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

Your own department or college may have specific procedures for daily attestations of wellness.

What to do if you feel sick

Anyone who is worried about potential exposure should first call health care professionals so they can assess your symptoms and risk factors and help you make a plan. Do not walk in to QuickCare, Student Health, any UI Health Care clinic, the State Hygienic Lab, or any emergency room. Points of contact are listed below. 

If you believe you may have been exposed to the virus or are experiencing symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) follow these guidelines:


Call or email the Student Health Nurseline ( or your local health care provider and inform them of your travel history and symptoms. After hours and on weekends, call the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics (319-384-9010 or the 24-hour helpline, 319-384-8819) or your local health care provider.

Students may also schedule a video visit through MyChart.


Call your health care provider or the UI Hospitals & Clinics (319-384-9010) and inform them of your travel history and symptoms, or schedule a video visit through MyChart.

If you are 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 below to request a cleaning and ensure appropriate notification to fellow employees.

Self-Reporting Guidelines

For all employees who have symptoms consistent with COVID-19

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

Frequently Asked Questions

For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 in Iowa, visit and the Iowa Department of Public Health website.  

The CDC recommends social distancing, which means remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet, or 2 meters) from others when possible.

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

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public space, or 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.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick, even inside your home. 
  • Put distance between yourself and other people outside of your home. 
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others. Do not use a face mask meant for a health care worker.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes. 
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.  

For a full details, see: CDC | How to protect yourself and others.

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

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

Wellmark has announced they are taking the following steps to support their health plan members in seeking medical treatment related to COVID-19:

Waiving prior authorization processes. Wellmark will waive prior authorization processes for covered services related to COVID-19 to ensure patients receive the right care at the right time and location.

Covering diagnostic tests for COVID-19. Members will have no cost-share for appropriate testing to establish the diagnosis of COVID-19.

Increasing access to prescription medications. Wellmark prescription drug benefit plans will allow for early refill and we encourage the use of 90-day retail and mail order benefits. We also will ensure formulary flexibility if there are medication shortages or other access issues. Members will not be responsible for any additional charges if they receive a non-formulary medication as a result of a shortage.

Offering virtual health care visits and 24/7 help. We are encouraging our members to take advantage of virtual visits—a covered benefit for most Wellmark members when they use Doctor On Demand—to avoid the spread of germs. Members also have access to Wellmark’s BeWell 24/7 service, which connects members to real people who can help with a variety of health-related concerns 24/7.

Telehealth video visits. All telehealth video sessions with UI Health Care will be covered at no cost to UIChoice, UISelect, SHIP, and UIGradcare health plan members.

Any student who uses Student Health for evaluation of symptoms that could be due to COVID-19 will not incur charges related to that visit. Student Health will follow its regular practice of submitting charges to insurance, but the individual student will not incur charges.

The University of Iowa has developed guidelines for supervisors in the event an employee becomes symptomatic or tests positive for SARS-CoV-2. These guidelines follow CDC recommendations and include requiring the employee to self-isolate until they have been fever free for 3 days without fever-reducing medication, symptoms have improved, and 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared. The university will also communicate to other employees within the unit or department and close off and clean the employee’s workspace, when appropriate.

The Senior HR Leader will help determine the appropriate communication based on the location(s) where the person works. Sometimes it entails notification outside of the actual unit if the person regularly works in other locations on campus. In such cases, the Senior HR Leaders will work together to determine the most appropriate scope for the notification. More information on reporting and notifications is available above in the "Self-Reporting Guidelines" section.