Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Vaccine update

University of Iowa Health Care has successfully vaccinated most of its frontline health care workers at UI Hospitals & Clinics and is now vaccinating individuals who provide clinical patient care in UI health sciences colleges and departments. Faculty, staff, and students who have been identified as clinical care providers will be notified of their eligibility for a vaccine in the coming days. Because of limited availability of the vaccine, it will likely take several weeks or more to vaccinate the entire group.

We are excited to announce this next step and continue to ask for your patience and support as we work through the process. The university is moving as quickly as the supply allows, but does not control when or how many doses it receives.

The university is following the Iowa Department of Public Health’s guidelines for priority populations in Phase 1A, which is limited to health care personnel and those working and living in residential care or long-term care facilities. You can find more information about the university’s implementation plan for Phase 1A on

Travel update

The Eastern Iowa Airport (CID) will begin a pre-flight health screening program for all outbound passengers on Jan. 25 in order to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

The health screening will be required for all passengers departing on a flight out of CID as well as employees who work beyond the security checkpoint. The screening will consist of a few standard health-related questions, in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance, and a temperature check before reaching security. The screening is expected to take about 10 seconds per person. Those who do not have a temperature exceeding 100.4 degrees F, recent positive COVID-19 exposure, or outward signs of health concerns will move onto the TSA screening checkpoint.

For additional information about the airport health screening program, should visit

The university returned to normal approval processes for all university-sponsored domestic travel in June, but international travel continues to be restricted. For the latest information, see the travel page of the UI coronavirus website.

Mental health resources: Loneliness and social connections during COVID-19

COVID-19’s impact on our sense of social connection and community can lead to loneliness even when we are around people.

Some helpful strategies to reduce feelings of loneliness include:

  • Find distracting activities or dedicate time to work, study, or hobbies.
  • Join a social club or take up new social activities and hobbies (this can be done virtually).
  • Reach out to someone you know who you have not talked to in a while. Go “old school” and call them on the phone.
  • Limit your exposure to social media and the news to no more than 30 minutes a day.
  • Talk to friends or family about how you are feeling.
  • Remember that you are not alone, and the university has resources that are available to you.

If you’d like to learn more, Behavioral Clinical Specialist Bronwyn Threlkeld-Wiegand discusses perspectives on loneliness during the middle of a public health crisis in a video available on this page:

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.

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.

Johnson County positive cases

University of Iowa self-reported COVID-19 testing

These data reflect new cases since Jan. 15, 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: 19
  • Total cases: 2,887


  • New cases: 9
  • Total cases: 395

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: 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.