Campus update: What to do if you get sick, winter and spring academic calendar update, TAWA and TALA reminders, self-reported COVID-19 testing update

Monday, September 14, 2020

What to do if you get sick

In this video, learn more about what to do if you get sick, test positive, or may have been exposed to COVID-19. Step-by-step instructions also are available on the UI Coronavirus website at this link.

Faculty, staff, and students should only fill out the self-reporting form if:

  • They have tested positive for COVID-19
  • They have been contacted by a public health agency and identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19
  • They were told by someone that they were in close contact with an individual who tested positive for COVID-19

 

Winter 2020 and spring 2021 academic calendars update

The University of Iowa will begin the winter 2020 session as planned on Monday, Dec. 28, 2020, and will expand the session by one week to include four weeks of instruction instead of three. The winter 2020 session will end on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021.

Starting the winter session on time is possible because the university did not change the fall 2020 academic calendar and will end the semester on Dec. 18, 2020. Lengthening the winter session will allow for select, high-priority classes to be taught, most of which will be online.

The spring 2021 semester will begin on Monday, Jan. 25, 2021, one week later than originally planned, and there will be no spring break. This change was made in consideration of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the ability to maintain the same number of instruction days while starting one week later.

The spring 2021 semester will end on Friday, May 14, 2021. Professional programs may choose to maintain their current calendars. By ending the spring 2021 semester as scheduled, the summer 2021 session will begin as scheduled on May 18, 2021.

While the majority of winter 2020 classes will take place online, the university expects that classes for the spring 2021 semester to be offered in similar formats as the current fall semester. The university will closely monitor cases of COVID-19 throughout the winter and spring semesters and will take action deemed necessary to help mitigate the transmission of the virus.

 

Reminder: Temporary alternative working arrangement

The university is committed to supporting employees upon their return to work on campus, including those who are medically vulnerable and at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Employees (outside of UI Health Care) who fall into one or more of the high-risk categories identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), or who have a household member in one of the high-risk categories, and who wish to seek a temporary alternative work arrangement beyond the COVID-19 workplace measures taken by their respective department or unit, may request a temporary alternative work arrangement (TAWA). It is important for faculty, staff, and student employees to follow the TAWA process.

To date, the UI Human Resources has received 482 TAWA requests from faculty, staff, graduate assistants, fellows, and student employees. 469 have been approved, 12 are pending college approval and one has been withdrawn. They include:

  • 253 faculty
  • 114 graduate assistants
  • 105 staff
  • 10 fellows or student employees

Some collegiate units continue to process requests and will be notifying individual employees as soon as possible. These numbers exclude UI Health Care, which has a separate process for administering requests.

 

Reminder: Temporary alternative learning arrangement

Students who are medically vulnerable and at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 according to CDC guidelines, or who live with someone who is in a vulnerable population, may seek a temporary alternative learning arrangement (TALA). All requests and personal information are confidential. Arrangements may include:

  • Remote learning.
  • Modified class schedule such as a change in class time or flexible learning arrangement to decrease contact with others.
  • Use of additional or enhanced protective equipment such as gowns, masks, face shields, gloves, or other gear beyond what may be provided in the ordinary course.
  • Temporarily removing or modifying course content that may be less critical or incidental.

To date, the UI has received and approved 352 TALA requests.

  • 289 undergraduate students
  • 63 graduate and professional students

In addition, 369 students have requested alternative arrangements not related to CDC-identified conditions, which are being handled at the collegiate level. The university is committed to supporting students upon their return to campus.

 

University of Iowa self-reported COVID-19 testing

These data reflect new cases since Sept. 11, 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: 72
  • Semester-to-date: 1,804

Employees

  • New cases: 4
  • Semester-to-date: 27

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. These data will not match data reported by the 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: 2*

Number of residence hall students in self-isolation: 30**

*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.