Campus update: How to cope during the pandemic, campus operations update, holiday weekend safety reminder, and self-reported COVID testing update

Friday, September 4, 2020

Tips on how to cope during the pandemic

In this video, Holly Davis, associate director/director of Clinical Services with University Counseling Service, discusses how to cope during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Campus operations update

Following a disappointing spike in COVID-19 cases last week, both Johnson County and the University of Iowa are seeing an improvement in the number of daily positive cases. UI Health Care administrators say the numbers have started to plateau.

Other important metrics also are holding steady, including:

  • Staffing
  • Residence hall capacity
  • Classroom availability
  • Testing capacity for symptomatic individuals
  • Contact tracing through Johnson County Public Health
  • Supplies of protective equipment for our students, faculty, and staff
  • Cleaning and disinfection supplies

We are encouraged by the improvement but urge you to remain diligent about avoiding large crowds and social gatherings or the number of positive cases will again increase. Please wear your mask, wash your hands, and watch your distance. Your health and the fall semester depend on it.

The university will continue to monitor the positive case rate and will make necessary adjustments if the rate increases. Any adjustment will be made in coordination with the Johnson County Public Health, the Iowa Department of Public Health, and the Board of Regents, State of Iowa.

 

Holiday weekend safety reminder

We know that many students often consider traveling during the long holiday weekend. Please make your decision carefully and consider the impact any travel plans may have on reducing the risk and spread of COVID-19 on campus and in our community. We strongly encourage you to remain in Iowa City and practice social distancing as much as possible over the Labor Day weekend to reduce the risk of exposure and spread. If you do choose to travel, we ask that you continue to monitor yourself for symptoms upon your return and contact Student Health at the first sign of any symptoms. See additional instructions on the UI Coronavirus website, or read more below for what to do if you get sick, test positive, or are exposed to COVID-19.

Please also keep in mind that students are expected to adhere COVID-19 health and safety guidelines outlined in the student agreement (wearing a mask/face covering, social distancing) both on and off campus. Behavior that is deemed to be unsafe will be addressed using the Code of Student Life.

If students feel sick over the holiday weekend, they should contact Student Health by visiting the website, calling the Nurseline (319-335-9704), or sending an email (student-health@uiowa.edu). On the Labor Day holiday (Monday), students should call UI Hospitals & Clinics (319-384-9010 or the 24-hour helpline, 319-384-8819) or schedule a video visit.

 

University of Iowa self-reported COVID-19 testing

The data below reflect new cases since Sept. 2, 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 of COVID-19

Students

  • New cases: 253
  • Semester-to-date: 1,395

Employees

  • New cases: 3
  • Semester-to-date: 19

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 UI 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: 15*

Number of residence hall students in self-isolation: 97**

*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.

 

Instructions for students if they are sick, test positive, or have been exposed to COVID-19

It is very important for students to follow these steps if you are sick, test positive, or have been exposed to COVID-19:

  • If you have questions about being sick, testing positive, or if you may have been exposed to COVID-19, please refer to these instructions on what to do next. DO NOT go to an emergency room unless you are having a medical emergency. DO NOT go to any health care clinic or UI Student Health unless you are specifically instructed to do so by a health care provider.
  • If you test positive or have been notified by the public health department that you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, complete the self-reporting form using this link. Then, closely follow the specific instructions that are emailed to you.
  • Your instructors will be notified of your absence, but it is also your responsibility to contact your instructors after you have submitted the self-reporting form.
  • If you have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and have not been directed by your health care provider to be tested, please continue to remain in your residence as directed by your provider. Communicate with your instructors as you usually would for an absence due to illness and report your absence using the student absence form.