Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Update: University-sponsored travel


The Board of Regents, State of Iowa, rolling 30-day ban on university-sponsored international travel remains in effect, and travel to any area with high rates of COVID-19 infection should be avoided. As the COVID-19 pandemic is a rapidly evolving situation, the board will continue to evaluate the ban daily and provide additional guidance if needed. However, President Harreld may authorize individual faculty and staff international travel for departures after Jan. 15, 2021, if that travel is specifically tied to university responsibilities. Faculty and staff inquiries regarding international travel can be directed to


Due to the prevalence of COVID-19 in the United States and abroad, the Board of Regents has determined there will be no study abroad or university-sponsored student travel outside the U.S. through the end of the spring 2021 semester.

Mental health resources: Sleep

Sleep is a fundamental component of our emotional well-being. The stress, anxiety, new routines, and additional responsibilities we experience due to COVID-19 and other factors can disrupt our sleep, lead to changes in our sleep patterns and decrease the quantity and quality of our sleep. Poor sleep negatively impacts our mental health, which makes sleep management extremely important.

Sleep management resources offered by the university include:


  • An app accessible by smartphone or tablet that provides individualized sleep improvement strategies and feedback.
  • A weekly email program that provides education, strategies, and activities to understand and improve sleep.
  • A consult with a Wellness Staff member to learn about sleep improvement strategies and get connected to other resources that could be useful.
  • Meet with medical providers at Student Health to make a referral to the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics Sleep Clinic or additional medical support.
  • Paper handout with weekly education and activities that can be sent through the mail. Students can register to receive this information by emailing


For more information about mental health resources, see

For counseling and support, the Employee Assistance Program offers confidential counseling at no cost for UI employees and their families; or University Counseling Service offers confidential counseling and support for students.

Reminder: Revised face covering policy

Effective Friday Oct. 23, 2020, 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.

Campus operations

Thank you for doing your part to limit the spread of COVID-19 on campus and in the community. According to information from Johnson County Public Health, cases in Johnson County remain steady; however, we are concerned about the increase in cases in other regions of the state. We must remain vigilant, as a community and if necessary, will consider additional actions, in coordination with Johnson County Public Health, the Iowa Department of Public Health, and the Board of Regents, State of Iowa.

Johnson County positive cases

University of Iowa self-reported COVID-19 testing

These data reflect new cases since Oct. 19, 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: 5
  • Semester-to-date: 2,091


  • New cases: 2
  • Semester-to-date: 77

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: 0*

Number of residence hall students in self-isolation: 3**

*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.