Campus update: A message from President Harreld, sharing self-reported COVID-19 cases, building attendant program, and student space reservations

Monday, August 24, 2020

A welcome message from President Harreld

Dear Hawkeyes,

Welcome to the start of the 2020-21 academic year. It will be a year like none of us has ever experienced before. And while it will not be a traditional collegiate experience, we do have the opportunity to make this Hawkeye experience our own.

Faculty and staff spent countless hours this summer adopting changes to lessen the spread of COVID-19 in the hopes of providing each of us an opportunity to return to campus. We did so with the strong conviction that each of you deserves the chance to show your fellow Hawkeyes that you care about them.

As you know, universities like ours have recently moved instruction online when students failed to follow their university and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines in order to reduce COVID-19 transmission. To that end, each of you chose to be here, and now the choices you make as an individual will determine the outcome for everyone.

In order to reduce transmission please, follow the three Ws:

  • Wear your face covering
  • Wash your hands
  • Watch your distance

Experiencing symptoms?

If you are experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19 infection, you should follow this process:

  • If you have symptoms consistent with COVID-19, stay home.
  • Do not go to class or work while symptomatic. If you develop symptoms while on campus, go home or return to your dorm room.
  • DO NOT walk in to QuickCare, Student Health, any UI Health Care clinic, the State Hygienic Lab, or any emergency room.
  • Call a health care professional who can assess your symptoms and risk factors telephonically and help you make a plan.
  • Consult your UI Health Care provider, Student Health, or personal health care provider to see if you need a COVID-19 testing.
  • DO NOT complete the self-reporting form until you have talked with a health care provider about a positive test or you have been contacted by public health as a close contact.

What to do if you may have been exposed

If you have been exposed to someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, consult with this page for guidance. If you are not having symptoms, you do not need to be tested until 10 to 12 days after the exposure. You can schedule testing during normal business hours.

Students

  • Visit the Student Health website (https://studenthealth.uiowa.edu/) for up to date information about COVID-19, You can also call or email the Student Health Nurseline (319-335-9704, student-health@uiowa.edu) or your local health care provider.
  • The health care provider you work with will determine whether you qualify for COVID-19 testing.

Faculty/Staff

  • Call your health care provider or the UI Hospitals & Clinics (319-384-9010) and inform them of your symptoms or schedule a video visit through MyChart.
  • The health care provider you work with will determine whether you qualify for COVID-19 testing.

Self-reporting

Students and employees are encouraged to self-report a positive diagnosis so the university can assist with academic and work arrangements, cleaning, and communication, where applicable. The university will provide isolation space for residence hall students diagnosed with COVID-19 and space to quarantine close contacts.

  • Students and employees should self-report via the university’s online system using this link.
  • If you are an employee, communicate with your supervisor and/or local HR representative to report sick leave.
  • If you live on campus, call University Housing & Dining as soon as possible at 319-335-3000 so they can assist you with appropriate living arrangements while you self-isolate.
  • Self-isolate according to CDC guidelines:
    • 10 days since first symptoms
    • At least 24 hours with no fever (without fever reducing medication) and
    • Symptoms improved
  • Inform close contacts and assist the Johnson County Health Department with contact tracing.
  • DO NOT complete the self-reporting form to report symptoms. Contact the Student Health Nurseline (319-335-9704, student-health@uiowa.edu) or your local health care provider. After hours and on weekends, call the UI Hospitals & Clinics (319-384-9010 or the 24-hour helpline, 319-384-8819) or schedule a video visit through MyChart.

A quick guide on this process is available on the UI Coronavirus website. More information on how students should report class absences can be found at https://registrar.uiowa.edu/absence-class.

Individually, we must take care of ourselves and do all that we can to help protect others. Together, we can have a successful year and can continue to make our campus a great place to learn, teach, and grow.

Bruce Harreld, president

 

University of Iowa self-reported COVID-19 testing

The University of Iowa will publish weekly snapshots of self-reported positive COVID-19 tests from faculty, staff, and students.

Number of self-reported cases for COVID-19*

Students

  • Past week: 107
  • Semester-to-date: 107

Employees

  • Past week: 4
  • Semester-to-date: 4

These numbers reflect only self-reported positive or presumed positive COVID-19 tests from UI faculty, staff, and students on the academic campus since the beginning of the fall semester on Aug. 18, 2020. They do not include data reported by the UI Hospitals & Clinics and will not match the totals reported 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: 19*

Number of residence hall students in self-isolation: 8**

*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.

The university will share updated numbers each Friday in the COVID-19 Campus Update and on coronavirus.uiowa.edu.

 

Building attendants to address cleaning, disinfecting, and restocking supplies this semester

As part of the University of Iowa’s return to campus efforts for the fall 2020 semester, Facilities Management Custodial Services will be implementing a Building Attendant Program to support high-density academic and administrative buildings.

You will find attendants stationed inside the entrances of buildings used primarily for classroom activities (though they may be temporarily called away to address a need in the building). They will address cleaning, disinfecting, and restocking of cleaning and sanitizing supplies, and will be available to answer your questions and support you during daytime hours.

Partnering with the FM@YourService team and customer service portal, the attendants will be key resources for students, faculty, and staff.

In addition, Custodial Services will continue to prioritize cleaning in classrooms, in restrooms, and high-frequency touch points. Daily restroom service will be provided in addition to cleaning of high-density buildings and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) approved cleaning products will be used. Most campus spaces are cleaned and disinfected nightly, Monday through Friday. Certain services, such as cleaning of office space, will be suspended until further notice.

The Building Attendant Program will remain fluid during the fall semester and will be adjusted according to use levels of various areas within the buildings. If you have questions about this program, contact Andy Bruckner, associate director of Custodial Services at andy-bruckner@uiowa.edu or use the “Ask a COVID question” button in the FM@YourService portal.

 

Student space reservations

With many University of Iowa classes being held virtually and limited density in public spaces, we recognize that students may need to reserve a space outside of their residence hall or apartment for virtual instruction, private appointments, or other needs, such as meetings with:

  • University Counseling Service
  • Student Care and Assistance
  • Student Accountability
  • Student Health Services
  • Advising and others

For these purposes, UI has made available a number of spaces for student reservations. Reservable spaces are marked by signage with instructions on how to reserve, or by visiting studentspace.uiowa.edu.

When booking a room:

  • Visit studentspace.uiowa.edu to book one of many campus spaces or scan the QR code on the room signage to be redirected to the website.
  • Self-clean the space. When you enter the room, please wipe down your space with provided supplies.
  • These rooms room are not to be used for study space; use is intended for those who are unable to attend virtual classes in their apartment or residence hall room or who may need a space for private appointments.
  • Rooms can be booked for 1.5-hour increments.
  • Be respectful of other students’ time. Exit the space promptly when your reservation time is over.
  • If someone else is in the space when a student arrives, they should knock 5 minutes before the start time of their reservation to alert the student in the room that someone is waiting.
  • Single user rooms are available. If the room code includes “PVT,” it is a private meeting space. See the website for additional details.

Individuals who need assistance reserving a space, should call 319-384-HELP (4357), email its-helpdesk@uiowa.edu, or start an online chat at its.uiowa.edu/contact.