Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Vaccine update: Explaining the vaccine prioritization process

In this video, Edith Parker, dean of the College of Public Health, explains how a phased approach to COVID-19 vaccine distribution allows the vaccine to have the greatest impact on those most at risk while supplies remain limited.

Federal order strengthens CAMBUS mask policy

Face masks (cloth mask, disposable mask, or face shield with mask) must be worn by all CAMBUS drivers and riders.

CAMBUS began requiring face coverings last spring and has experienced a high rate of compliance. Now the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued an order that requires face masks to be worn by all travelers while on public transportation. Per the order, all CAMBUS riders must wear a face mask that covers both the nose and mouth of the wearer. People must wear a face mask while waiting for a bus at a bus stop, and while riding, boarding, and disembarking a CAMBUS.

  • Masks are available in dispensers for individuals that do not have one at these locations: Parking Lot 65, Finkbine Commuter; Parking Lot 75, Arena; and Parking Lot 55, Hancher. Masks also are available upon request from the driver of all CAMBUS vehicles.
  • Per the federal order: There are exemptions to the mask requirement for some persons with disabilities and for children under the age of 2.
  • The new federal order for public transportation is in addition to the policies and procedures adopted by the University of Iowa to protect the health and safety of campus.

Refusing to wear a mask is a violation of federal law and may result in denial of boarding, removal, or penalties under federal law.

CAMBUS is required to make best efforts to ensure compliance with the order. Read the updated CAMBUS face mask policy in response to 2021 federal order.

Mental health resources: Grief and trauma

Grief and trauma stemming from the pandemic are real and often can go unnoticed as reasons we may be struggling. We may think something is simply “wrong” with us and that we should simply be doing better, as we struggle to maintain our mood and energy.

Part of recovering from trauma is allowing yourself to grieve your experiences that have resulted in loss and/or trauma. Traumatic events change us, and it is important to acknowledge what was lost, whether that be a sense of safety and/or the loss of a loved one.

A few tips for recovering from COVID-19 related trauma include:

  • Focus on what is in your control
  • Acknowledge your thoughts and feelings
  • Actively assess your risk of getting COVID-19 and the risk of those with whom you regularly interact
  • Spend time considering what is important for you at this time and consider how to get your needs met safely
  • Build and engage in a network of support

To learn more about the psychological and physical symptoms of trauma, and what you can do about it, see

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. Participate in Kognito Mental Health & Suicide Prevention Training.

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.

johnson county 7-day rolling average

University of Iowa self-reported COVID-19 testing

These data reflect new cases since Feb. 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: 6
  • Total cases: 2,982


  • New cases: 1
  • Total cases: 436

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: 5**

*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.