Guidance on events, changes in services, and an update on travel

Friday, March 13, 2020

Dear members of the UI community,

Following this week’s announcement that the University of Iowa is moving to virtual instruction beginning March 23, 2020, through at least April 3, 2020, we wanted to share additional information related to events and services on campus as well as an update on travel. You will also find the latest information at coronavirus.uiowa.edu.

Events

In order to proactively protect the health and safety of its community, the University of Iowa is canceling all non-essential face-to-face meetings and events, effective Monday, March 16, 2020, through at least Friday, April 3, 2020.

All essential meetings or events will be limited to 20 in-person attendees or offered through a virtual format. Any exceptions must be approved by the UI vice president for the appropriate unit. Requests should be submitted by emailing ui-coronavirusquestions@uiowa.edu. Using virtual options such as Skype, Zoom, or conference calls is recommended whenever possible.

All non-essential meetings and events that already are scheduled should be canceled, rescheduled, or offered virtually (Skype, Zoom, etc.) No new non-essential meetings or events should be scheduled until further notice.

Groups with events scheduled after Friday, April 3, are urged to begin considering alternative plans in case events further into the future will need to be canceled or postponed.

Other specific events you may have questions about:

  • The university will make a decision about Commencement ceremonies soon. We recognize the importance of making this decision in a timely manner.
  • The Big Ten Conference announced that all conference and non-conference competitions will be canceled through the end of the academic year, including spring sports that compete beyond the academic year, and participation in all NCAA tournaments and competitions. We are disappointed for our student-athletes, but the university fully supports the actions taken by the Big Ten Conference, knowing that health, safety, and wellness is the top priority.

Services

RECREATIONAL SERVICES: To protect the health and well-being of our community, the following indoor Recreational Services facilities will close on Monday, March 16, through Friday, April 3:

  • The Campus Recreation and Wellness Center (CRWC)
  • The Field House (FH)
  • The Hawkeye Tennis & Recreation Complex (HTRC), which includes the Outdoor Rental Center (ORC)
  • Fitness East in Halsey Hall (FE)
  • Administrative and academic offices will remain open according to regular schedules

We recognize this is an inconvenience for both our campus community as well as the surrounding community. But our primary focus is the health and safety of our members, and practicing appropriate social distance is difficult at recreational facilities.

For more information on changes to Recreational Services’ programs, services, impacted facilities, and hours, visit recserv.uiowa.edu/covid-19-special-announcement.

CAMBUS: CAMBUS service will continue to operate during the virtual instruction period. For the latest service updates, please 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.

UI LIBRARIES: As some of the most highly utilized public spaces on campus, the libraries are a hub for the campus community to meet, study, and access research materials. The university’s goal is to maintain operations as much as possible while mitigating the risk to users. Libraries will remain open, although hours may vary from normal operations. For updated library hours, visit www.lib.uiowa.edu/hours.

Users are encouraged to access library resources through remote services whenever possible. For information on remote access to library resources, visit www.lib.uiowa.edu/alerts/coronavirus/#remote.

Travel

The CDC has now raised the risk assessment for much of Europe (all Schengen countries) to a CDC level 3 travel warning, and the university recalled all students studying abroad in these countries on Thursday, March 12. The university also has asked these students to self-isolate for 14 days upon their return in alignment with CDC guidelines.

We continue to encourage members of the UI community to strongly consider deferring personal, non-essential international travel during spring break and in the weeks ahead.

The Board of Regents has also issued a rolling 30-day suspension of university-sponsored international travel effective March 5, and will make a decision weekly whether to extend the suspension.

All UI Health Care work-related domestic and international travel is suspended until further notice.

The university is taking these steps to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and limit exposure to our community. We recognize the news surrounding coronavirus and changes the university is implementing as a result may cause increased anxiety. The university has resources available to support and assist you. To speak with someone, please contact:

Please take care of yourselves and one another in the coming weeks.

Sincerely,

Rod Lehnertz, senior vice president for finance and operations
Kevin Kregel, executive vice provost and senior associate provost for faculty