Monday, December 14, 2020

Campus COVID-19 cleaning practices

In this video, Associate Director of Custodial Services Andy Bruckner explains how the University of Iowa’s dedicated custodial team is helping mitigate the spread of COVID-19 through updated cleaning practices. All cleaning practices are in alignment with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines. To date, the spread of COVID-19 has not been traced back to any classrooms on campus.

Update: CDC quarantine guidelines

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has provided local public health authorities with new options to reduce the quarantine period for asymptomatic close contacts of people with COVID-19 infections when the full 14-day quarantine presents an undue burden.

The gold standard continues to be that quarantine will last 14 full days from the last exposure to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, and Johnson County Public Health (JCPH) continues to recommend that all people quarantine for 14 days whenever possible.

For campus, this update will apply as follows:


Quarantine as advised by your local public health department, or until you meet CDC guidelines to end quarantine.

  • Students living on campus in residence halls will be required to complete the full 14-day quarantine period.
  • Asymptomatic students may release after 10 full days of quarantine if the following are met:
    • No symptoms
    • Negative diagnostic test (PCR) taken between days eight and 10. Students who live on campus or live locally will need to order the test through Student Health or University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics to return to the classroom or on-campus employment.
  • If social distancing is not possible, students must complete the full 14-day quarantine period.


Employees who want to quarantine for the full 14 days should be allowed to do so unless they perform critical functions that must be performed on campus and their department requires them to return to work earlier (within the parameters outlined below) due to a critical business need.

  • Asymptomatic employees may shorten their quarantine as follows, as long as they are able to maintain social distancing in the workplace:
    • After 10 days regardless of testing, or
    • After seven days if they had a negative PCR (nasal swab) test result on day five of quarantine or later. In this case, employees must provide documentation of their test result to Faculty and Staff Disability Services or their local HR representative before returning to the workplace.
  • If social distancing is not possible, employees must complete the full 14-day quarantine period.

* All exposed students and employees should self-monitor for symptoms throughout the 14-day period and stay home if they have symptoms consistent with COVID-19. For a step-by-step guide on how this process applies at the university, see: For more information on this CDC update, see CDC guidelines to end quarantine.

The CDC continues to endorse quarantine for 14 days and recognizes that any quarantine shorter than 14 days balances reduced burden against a small possibility of spreading the virus. JCPH will continue to partner with the university on contact tracing. If you are identified as a close contact, follow the recommendations of your local public health department.

Campus operations

The university continues to monitor self-reported COVID-19 testing data on campus, while also tracking state, region, and national COVID-19 infection rates. The university will continue to follow the latest guidance from the CDC in coordination with Johnson County Public Health, the Iowa Department of Public Health, and the Board of Regents, State of Iowa.

Seven-day rolling average chart for self-reported UI data

University of Iowa self-reported COVID-19 testing

These data reflect new cases since Dec. 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


  • New cases: 8
  • Semester-to-date: 2,790


  • New cases: 3
  • Semester-to-date: 315

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: 1**

*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.