Campus update: How COVID-19 spreads, new ventilation practices, number of self-reported cases, student activity/event reminder

Monday, August 31, 2020

Reminder: How COVID-19 spreads

University of Iowa Health infectious disease physician and epidemiologist Dan Diekema explains how COVID-19 is spread.

 

Reminder: New ventilation practices

Before the start of the fall 2020 semester, University of Iowa Facilities Management (FM) changed ventilation system and filtration system practices for heating and air conditioning units across campus to lower the risk of exposure to COVID-19. The changes reflect recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for Institutes of Higher Education and include:

  • Upgrading to MERV 13 filters, which will help prevent the circulation of bacteria and virus-carrying agents, across all capable systems.
  • Adjusting the systems while classrooms are occupied to maximize airflow, increasing filtration and fresh air.
  • Purging building air daily, by activating the HVAC systems and least two hours before occupancy.
  • Monitoring and verifying systems are working correctly and adjusting as needed.

Classrooms that do not meet CDC COVID-19 ventilation recommendations for risk reduction are NOT being used for instruction or group activities but may be used for individual work or study spaces. For more detailed information on this process, please see this video from Lynne Finn, associate vice president of Facilities Management, or visit https://www.facilities.uiowa.edu/coronavirus.

 

University of Iowa self-reported COVID-19 testing

The data below reflects new cases since Aug. 28, 2020.

The University of Iowa has published an updated snapshot of self-reported positive COVID-19 tests from faculty, staff, and students.

Number of self-reported cases for COVID-19

Students

  • New cases: 326
  • Semester-to-date: 922*

Employees

  • New cases: 3
  • Semester-to-date: 13*

* The Aug. 28 numbers inadvertently included some students and employees who self-reported more than once. This has been corrected in the semester-to-date number.

These numbers reflect only self-reported positive or presumed positive COVID-19 tests from UI faculty, staff, and students on the academic campus since Aug. 18, 2020. The data will not match data reported by University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics or by the Iowa Department of Public Health for several reasons, including different testing time intervals and geographic scope. Students who also are employees of the university are only reported in the student number to avoid double counting. The UI has more than 30,000 students and nearly 30,000 employees. Many employees continue to work remotely, but have self-reported to authorize sick leave.

Number of residence hall students in quarantine: 17*

Number of residence hall students in self-isolation: 78**

*Quarantine: Quarantine is used to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others.

**Self-isolation: Isolation is used to separate people infected with the virus (those who are symptomatic and those with no symptoms) from people who are not infected.

 

Reminder: All student engagement activities and events are virtual

Due to the increased spread of COVID-19 within the Iowa City community, all student engagement activities and registered student organization (RSO) events must be held virtually. This restriction applies to any in-person event, program, or social gathering for service and fellowship clubs, student political organizations, sports clubs, fraternities, and sororities, etc.

Participation in any other in-person event or social gathering on or off campus that includes ten or more people and does not follow the requirements set forth in the governor’s Aug. 21 proclamation will be considered a violation of the Code of Student Life and may result in disciplinary action by the Office of Student Accountability.

This guidance does NOT apply to academic courses, university departmental events, research lab positions, on- or off-campus employment, employee trainings, services and worship, campus memorials, or events previously approved by the Critical Incident Management Team (CIMT).