Friday, October 23, 2020

Reminder: Revised face covering policy

Effective today the university will no longer allow gaiters or face shields (when worn without a mask) as appropriate face coverings.

Face masks (cloth mask, disposable mask, or face shield with mask) are required in all university buildings, including classrooms, unless alone in a private office or your residence hall room. Masks should be worn outside when social distancing is not possible.

*Instructors may wear a face shield in certain situations where instruction requires an unobstructed view of faces and in situations requiring student accommodations. In these instances, instructors will need to maintain a minimum distance of 6 feet from those they are instructing.

NOTE: UI Health Care has separate face covering guidelines due to patient care. For full personal protective equipment requirements for UI Health Care staff, see The Loop.

Support the Hawkeyes safely

The 2020 season begins Saturday for the Hawkeye football team. Though this is an exciting time for many of us, we would like to remind you of some of this year’s unique policies.

As you are likely aware, fans are not allowed in the stadium for home games and tailgating will not be allowed.

While we have made progress in slowing the spread of COVID-19 in our community, you have likely seen reports of increased hospitalizations and spread across the state. Our campus must remain dedicated to the practices that help to reduce transmission: wearing masks, maintaining social distance, and avoiding gathering in large groups.

So, when you gather to cheer on the Hawkeyes, please be mindful to do so with the members of your small campus “family unit,” as outlined here. Remember that you are subject to the guidelines of the university regardless of your proximity to campus, per the Code of Student Life. While your residence may be off campus, your actions off campus impact the ability for the university to continue in-person operations as well as the health and safety of the UI and Iowa City communities.

All students are expected to follow the expectations outlined in the student agreement. Failure to follow these guidelines may be addressed through the Office of Student Accountability.

We hope you still find ways to support our Hawkeyes in a fun, healthy manner.

For ideas on how to support the Hawkeyes safely, check out these tips from University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics, including:

  • Wear a mask. Regardless of where you watch or with whom you watch, remember to wear a mask. The only exception is watching at home with people from your household. Shouting and cheering produce more aerosols/droplets.
  • Don’t share food. We encourage you to stick to your food choices and traditions—they're among the best parts of football season. But avoid sharing food and instead create individual servings. Individual servings allow people to pick up their food and go to a safe place to eat rather than gathering around a shared food source. Wash your hands before any meal preparation. Be extra cautious when taking off your mask to eat or drink and make sure you are at least 6 feet from others, preferably in a ventilated space.
  • Avoid crowded indoor spaces such as bars and restaurants. Try watching the game from your home instead. It’s safer (and cheaper).
  • Limit groups to 10 or less. If you’re watching the game with others, make sure to keep gathering sizes small—no more than 10. If they are from outside your household, mask up, have plenty of room for social distancing, and choose a well-ventilated area.
  • Move the TV. If hosting, try moving the TV outside or to a well-ventilated area.
  • Consider a virtual option. Try setting up a Zoom or FaceTime call with friends to watch together virtually.

University of Iowa self-reported COVID-19 testing

These data reflect new cases since Oct. 21, 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


  • New cases: 25
  • Semester-to-date: 2,116


  • New cases: 4
  • Semester-to-date: 81

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 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: 1*

Number of residence hall students in self-isolation: 2**

*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.