Monday, January 25, 2021

Vaccine update

Graphic that describes Tiers 1 through 5 of Phase 1B of COVID-19 vaccination

The University of Iowa continues to vaccinate frontline health care workers at UI Hospitals & Clinics as well as faculty, staff, and students who provide clinical patient care in UI health sciences colleges and departments. It will likely take several weeks or more to vaccinate the entire group in priority population Phase 1A.

The university, along with Johnson County, is reviewing the Iowa Department of Public Health’s recommendations for Phase 1B to determine eligible populations on campus. We will share more information as it becomes available.

Johnson County Public Health is reminding us that there is still limited vaccine so not everyone will be able to be vaccinated right away in February. Someone will contact you when it is your turn, so you do not need to sign a waiting list. The county will share instructions as soon as plans are finalized with health care and pharmacy partners. So please do NOT call pharmacies or health care providers at this time.

In the meantime, please continue to wear your mask, watch your distance, and wash your hands. Thank you for your patience and support. We are all in this together.

Message for UI students: Self-care and staying engaged

Welcome back, Hawkeyes. We’re glad you’re here, and we hope you all had a chance for some rest and relaxation during winter break. As we begin another unique semester during this pandemic, we want to make sure you’re aware of campus resources to help you stay engaged and get the support you need. Learn more in this video from Sarah Hansen, vice president for student life.

Reminder: Campus COVID-19 metrics

As we begin another semester during this pandemic, we wanted to take a moment to remind you the University of Iowa will continue to take deliberate steps to reduce the risk of exposure to the COVID-19 virus and will be proactively engaging with students, faculty, and staff throughout the semester to gauge health and well-being.

Just as we did during the fall semester, campus leadership will continue to monitor a set of metrics to determine if the university needs to alter policies, procedures, or scheduling. The metrics include:

  • New cases
  • Percent of positive tests
  • Available testing
  • Appropriate contact tracing
  • Ample classroom instruction
  • Staffing for critical functions
  • Course instruction transition to online
  • Classroom availability
  • Residence hall capacity
  • Protective equipment inventory
  • Cleaning equipment inventory
  • Johnson County K-12 school operation level
  • Child care availability
  • Proclamation compliance
  • Cases at other Iowa universities
  • UI Health Care capacity level

Though the vaccine provides us with a renewed sense of hope as we begin the semester, it will take time for everyone who wants to be vaccinated to receive doses, and guidance and information about the pandemic changes rapidly and must be continually monitored. Campus leadership is prepared to make difficult decisions about the spring semester, if necessary. We remain committed to excellence in education, research, and health care no matter what hurdles come our way.

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 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (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. 22, 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


  • New cases: 6
  • Total cases: 2,897


  • New cases: 2
  • Total cases: 404

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: 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.