Monday, March 8, 2021

Vaccine update: Understanding the Johnson & Johnson vaccine

In this video from a recent press conference with Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, Dr. Patricia Winokur, executive dean of the Carver College of Medicine and professor of internal medicine—infectious diseases, explains the benefits of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, and the data behind its efficacy.

Spring 2021 commencement update

As we shared on March 1, the University of Iowa is working to develop an in-person option to celebrate graduation for our students and their families. This in-person celebration will not replace the virtual commencement ceremonies, but will offer an additional option for those who want to gather in a socially distanced format to honor our graduates.

Registration for virtual commencement is now open and we encourage students to RSVP so they can be included in their collegiate ceremony. This is their opportunity to be individually recognized by their college. Each graduate will have the opportunity to submit an image to be displayed while their name is read aloud. The university will livestream each of the spring 2021 virtual commencement ceremonies, providing an accessible way to celebrate that does not involve travel, parking, or large crowds. Please sign up here to receive updates.

Students who RSVP for virtual commencement also are welcome to participate in the in-person celebration of graduation currently being planned. Providing multiple ways to celebrate ensures students can choose the option(s) that best fit their family. We look forward to sharing additional details on the in-person celebration by March 19.

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.

University of Iowa seven-day rolling average

University of Iowa self-reported COVID-19 testing

These data reflect new cases since March 5, 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: 3,021


  • New cases: 2
  • Total cases: 449

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: 4**

*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.