Campus update: COVID-19 safety training for students, updated building practices, student survey results, and limited ACT testing and outdoor tours

Friday, July 31, 2020

COVID-19 Safety Training for Students

Reducing the risk of exposure to COVID-19 for everyone in the University of Iowa community is critical to our shared mission of teaching, research, service, and patient care. This requires shared responsibility, and we expect faculty, staff, and students to take reasonable precautions to protect their fellow Hawkeyes. As a UI student, we are asking for your commitment to this shared responsibility when you are on campus.

The university has created a training course to help you transition to campus during COVID-19. This course will be available on ICON beginning Monday, Aug. 3. In order for you to be prepared to return to campus for the fall semester, the deadline for course completion will be Friday, Aug. 21. The course takes 30 to 45 minutes to complete and can be completed over multiple sessions.

The training modules cover the following topics:

  • Your role in returning to campus
  • COVID-19 myths and facts
  • Strategies for minimizing the spread of COVID-19

The final part of the course will ask you to sign a student acknowledgement, which will include information about campus health and safety practices and illness and exposure protocols based on the latest guidance from UI experts, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Iowa Department of Public Health, and other governmental agencies. We ask that you read the statement carefully and acknowledge your commitment to follow all of the outlined expectations. All students are expected to review and sign the acknowledgement before returning to campus.

Students will receive email communication when the training is available, as well as reminder emails.

 

Reminder: COVID-19 Safety Training for Employees

COVID-19 Safety Training is now available to all University of Iowa employees. All employees outside of UI Health Care are expected to complete the brief training module as soon as possible, whether they are returning to work on campus or continuing to work remotely.

To access the training, log into UI Self Service, click on My Career, then My Training, then Enroll in Courses, and finally My Compliances. Then choose course #WCVD01 UI COVID Safety Practices. If you are required to complete the training, it also will be visible in CQ (Compliance & Qualifications) at compliance.hr.uiowa.edu.

 

Steps Forward Update: Campus Building Practices

As preparation continues for the fall 2020 semester, University of Iowa Facilities Management (FM) is sharing an update on building practices in academic and administrative (General Education Fund) buildings related to COVID -19. FM 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. These practices have been added to the Fall 2020 Steps Forward Plan, and include information about:

  • Restrooms: People are encouraged to check occupancy before entering restrooms and to limit their time per visit. All restroom fixtures will remain in operation — none will be disabled, covered, or restricted to avoid congestion and encourage thorough handwashing. Hand dryers will remain in place.
  • Touchless options: Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant (foot operated) door pulls will be installed, as possible, in 300 restrooms. Hand sanitizer will be available at primary building entrances.
  • Elevators: All elevators will be operational, with added signage and guidance for social distancing. Stair use is encouraged when practical/possible.
  • Drinking fountains: Drinking fountains and bottle fillers will remain operational to provide necessary hydration options for building occupants. Fountain handles are considered high touch common area items to be cleaned at a higher frequency. Building occupants are encouraged to bring beverages from home to avoid these touchpoints if desired.
  • Building circulation plans (foot traffic): Building architecture will drive the circulation plan, but when possible, visitors should expect to use a counterclockwise circulation pattern. Primary entrances and exits for each building will be identified. When routes are not ADA accessible, people with disabilities are exempt from following suggested routes. Facilities Management will create an interactive campus map for viewing building circulation plans online.

Any changes will follow ADA and fire code requirements. To read the most up-to-date information about building practices for fall 2020, see the Facilities, Buildings, and Grounds section of the Fall 2020 Steps Forward Plan.

 

Student Survey Results

In a recent survey of University of Iowa undergraduate students, 92% of respondents said they would wear a mask in public when they return to campus this fall, and the majority said they would be uncomfortable attending a party if most students were not wearing masks.

The survey, designed to gauge students’ willingness to wear face masks and reaction to messaging about masks, was sent to about 2,000 Iowa students on July 27 and was completed by more than 430. The results show students are concerned about contracting COVID-19 and are willing to take precautions to prevent the spread. About 75% say they are very or somewhat concerned about becoming infected and have already adopted social distancing practices, including wearing a mask in public and avoiding large gatherings.

Students are less optimistic about the behavior of their peers, with 87% of respondents indicating their fellow students would be either “not too likely” or “not at all likely” to follow potential bans on parties and large social gatherings. This reflects similar responses in National College Health Assessment (NCHA) survey, in which students assume riskier behavior by their peers than is reflected in the data.

The message testing in the survey showed that evidence-based infographics about risk and prevention were more convincing to students than images of Herky or fellow students wearing masks. This feedback will help inform the university’s communication strategies for fall 2020. Find the full survey results here.

 

Enrollment Management to Host Limited Outdoor Tours, ACT Testing Aug. 4—Aug. 20

University of Iowa Enrollment Management will host very limited campus visits Aug. 4–20. These visits will include on-campus Iowa Board of Regents ACT testing taking place in the Pappajohn Business Building, and small outdoor-only campus walking tours departing from the T. Anne Cleary Walkway. All visitors will be required to wear face coverings and follow social distancing practices.