Campus update: Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (CARES Act); COVID-19 vaccine update; campus operations; self-reported testing data

Monday, January 11, 2021

Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (CARES Act) update

The University of Iowa anticipates receiving additional funds from the most recent stimulus package to distribute during the spring 2021 semester to assist students.

However, the university’s application process cannot open until the funding has been distributed and established award information has been shared by the U.S. Department of Education.

The university will share more information about the funding and the application process when funds are available. In the meantime, continue to closely monitor these campus COVID-19 messages for updates.

COVID-19 vaccine update

COVID-19 vaccines are being made available in phases, based on guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Iowa Department of Public Health. The (CDC) has placed first priority on health care workers and those who live and work in long-term care facilities, followed by frontline essential workers.

The University of Iowa is pleased to have four UI experts serving on the Iowa Department of Public Health’s Infectious Disease Advisory Council (IDAC), which will assist the state in developing COVID-19 vaccine distribution guidance. Once IDAC submits its recommendations to the state and the director of IDPH adopts the recommendations, that information will be shared with campus. The university will follow the state’s guidance for immunizing all health care and non-health care critical function employees. This may take several weeks or even months, so we ask for your patience.

Student vaccinations

Johnson County Public Health has shared population data with the state to ensure that the county receives enough vaccine to cover University of Iowa students. The timing of when the vaccine is made available for each population may impact where students choose to receive their vaccination, but the vaccine eventually will be available through Student Health.

Staying healthy

It will take time for everyone who wants to be vaccinated to receive the required doses so, until then, all of us must continue to take the steps necessary to protect ourselves and our community. You should continue to wear a face mask, avoid large gatherings, maintain social distance, and frequently wash your hands.

For additional information and FAQs, see the vaccine information page of the UI’s COVID-19 website, and the Johnson County Public Health website.

Campus operations

On Thursday, Jan. 7, the governor extended the state’s COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Declaration. The declaration extended most in-place health mitigation efforts through Saturday, Feb. 6.

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 Jan. 8, 2021.

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: 8
  • Total cases: 2,852

Employees

  • New cases: 1
  • Total cases: 377

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: 0**

*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.