Campus update: Plan ahead for Thanksgiving recess; remote work; Iowa City extends face covering order; TALA application deadline; self-reported testing data

Friday, November 13, 2020

Plan ahead for Thanksgiving recess

In this video, Vice President for Student Life Sarah Hansen shares recommendations for how to stay healthy and reduce the risk of spreading illness to friends and family leading up to and following Thanksgiving recess.

Remote work

Earlier this week, Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a proclamation imposing several additional public health measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19. The new measures became effective on November 11 and continue through November 30, 2020. The proclamation requires employers to evaluate whether any more of their employees can feasibly work remotely and to the extent reasonable, to take steps to enable such employees to work remotely.

As a result, UI leadership is directing all units outside of UI Health Care to evaluate whether additional employees can feasibly work remotely and to take appropriate steps to facilitate remote work when possible. Employees who provide critical functions that must be completed on campus will be expected to continue to report for work on campus. Directing employees to work from home will support social distancing and reduce the threat of spread for everyone, including our colleagues who must perform essential services on campus.

As a reminder, classes will move to a virtual delivery mode on Nov 30 through the end of the fall semester.

Iowa City extends face covering order to Jan. 15, 2021

Iowa City Mayor Bruce Teague has extended the July 21, 2020, order requiring every person in the city of Iowa City to wear a face covering when in a public place.

The extension states that a face covering that covers the nose and mouth must now be worn in all public spaces until Jan. 15, 2021. The extension comes as COVID-19 cases surge nationwide. With the Iowa City area entering influenza season and people start spending more time indoors due to lower temperatures, there is also an inherent increase in the risk of spreading the virus within our community.

The order in its entirety can be read online.

This order aligns directly with the University of Iowa’s face mask requirement. As a reminder, everyone entering a university building is expected to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Unless otherwise indicated, you must wear a face mask (cloth mask, disposable mask, or face shield with mask) when on campus unless you are alone in a private office/space or are in your residence hall room.

Reminder: TALA application deadline

Students who do not already have a temporary alternative learning arrangement (TALA) in place for the fall 2020 semester but want one for spring must apply by Friday, Nov. 20, to begin registering for spring 2021 classes on Dec. 1.

Students who are not currently verified but who meet the criteria for populations listed by the CDC as being more vulnerable to COVID-19 may apply for TALA using the form on the TALA web page.

University of Iowa self-reported COVID-19 testing

These data reflect new cases since Nov. 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: 60
  • Semester-to-date: 2,465

Employees

  • New cases: 19
  • Semester-to-date: 195

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: 3*

Number of residence hall students in self-isolation: 21**

*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.