Thursday, March 19, 2020

Updated, March 19, 7:30 p.m.: A clarification to the original message: It was stated that the student saw a patient while the student was symptomatic. The student had a headache as their initial symptom, but was not showing signs of fever or respiratory issues while treating the patient. The next morning, the student developed a fever and did not attend school that day, and has been in self-isolation since.

Dear members of the UI community,

A member of our University of Iowa community has self-identified they tested positive for COVID-19.

A student in the College of Dentistry shared the news with college leadership, who immediately contacted Johnson County Public Health (JCPH). The individuals with whom the student had close contact have been identified and notified, which includes a single patient seen by the student while the student was symptomatic (headache). The student was last on campus at the College of Dentistry on March 12, 2020, does NOT live in the residence halls, and is currently self-isolating in a location off campus.

In addition, the College of Dentistry has communicated with students, faculty, and staff, and is providing support to the student who has tested positive and everyone in the college as needed. The college also disinfects all operatories, etc., after routine protocol for blood-borne pathogens and has intensified these efforts.

It is NOT the practice of Iowa Department of Public Health to notify employers or institutions of a positive case. The university is able to share this news because the student self-identified, but the university will NOT be able to report each time a member of the UI community tests positive moving forward.

Please know you do NOT need to be tested unless you had direct contact with someone who has tested positive AND have symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing). Testing is currently limited; your health care provider can determine if you need testing or treatment. Treatment is based on your symptoms and testing will not change your medical treatment.

If you believe you may have been exposed to the virus or are experiencing symptoms, DO NOT walk in to QuickCare, Student Health, any UI Health Care clinic, the State Hygienic Lab or any emergency room. Instead, follow these procedures:


Call or email the Student Health Nurseline (319-335-9704) ( or your local health care provider and inform them of your travel history and symptoms. After hours and on weekends, call the UI Hospitals & Clinics at 319-384-9010 or the 24-hour helpline, 319-384-8819, or your local health care provider. You may also schedule a video visit through MyChart.

Faculty and Staff

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.

It is important to know that your privacy will be maintained by your provider.

Social distancing is how the community can stop the virus from spreading. Remain out of congregate settings, avoid mass gatherings, and maintain safe distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others when possible.

In addition, we know that dealing with this evolving situation can cause stress and anxiety. Please remember that the Employee Assistance Program is available to support you. EAP services can be accessed by calling 319-335-2085 during business hours (8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday) or emailing

Accurate information, preparation, and evidence-based practice are powerful tools to help ease feelings of uncertainty and anxiety. Find accurate information about COVID-19 from reliable sources such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the World Health Organization (WHO), and more locally the UI’s coronavirus website, where frequently asked questions for students, faculty, staff, and parents are updated regularly.

Important and up-to-date information can be found on the university’s website.

We know these are difficult times and we appreciate your continued resilience and assistance.


Dr. Paul Natvig, interim director of UI Student Health
Dr. Daniel Fick, campus health officer