Friday, May 14, 2021

Campus health and distancing guidelines

The University is reviewing the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) interim public health recommendations for fully vaccinated people and will share any changes to campus health and social distancing practices in an upcoming campus COVID-19 update.

The university will continue to rely on guidance from the Board of Regents, State of Iowa; the Iowa and Johnson County departments of public health (IDPH, JCPH); the Big Ten Conference; and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding face masks, social distancing, and other health and safety measures.

TODAY: UI Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine clinic for students

Students who wish to receive their first or second Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine will have an opportunity to be vaccinated today at the University of Iowa’s COVID-19 vaccination clinic. This clinic was set up to provide students who received their first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech on April 21-22 with their second dose, but walk-ins are welcome at this event.

The vaccination clinic will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. today (Friday, May 14) in the main lounge of the Iowa Memorial Union (IMU). Students who are receiving their second dose need to BRING THEIR STUDENT ID AND VACCINE CARD. Students should do their best to arrive at the IMU in the time frame indicated on their reminder email. If that is not possible, they should plan to arrive between 9 a.m. and 3:45 p.m.

Students who wish to get their first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, or those who received their first dose elsewhere 21 days ago, can receive their second dose (they must bring their student ID and vaccine card if we are completing their series). The vaccine provided will be the two-dose Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

If students want to get their first dose through this clinic and their second dose elsewhere, they should check with a provider in their home county and state to ensure availability.

It is also important for students to eat and hydrate well before they get their vaccine.

For more information, see the announcement on the Student Health website.

Publishing note

With the number of COVID-19 cases in our community declining and vaccine availability dramatically increasing, the University of Iowa will transition from sending three COVID-19 updates a week to providing regular updates in your IowaNow emails. Beginning the week of May 31, the number of self-reported cases of COVID-19 will be published on the university’s coronavirus website each Wednesday and shared along with any additional updates or policy changes in your Thursday Iowa Now email.

We will continue to publish the news and updates shared with campus on

Mental health resources: Adjusting to life after a year of isolation

Now that vaccines have become more widely available, many of us are returning to activities outside of our households for the first time, and reuniting with friends, colleagues, and family.

Dealing with this “new normal” may take time, and it’s important to be gentle with yourself and others as you begin to make this transition.

Stacy Pawlak, a UIHC clinical psychologist, recommends some specific things that might help with the transition:

  • Ease back into things. At the start of the pandemic, everything felt scary and unnatural. Then we got used to it and found security. Give yourself time to acclimate back into a world that’s gradually reopening.
  • Acknowledge grief. No one was spared some sort of loss this year, whether it was health, work, financial security, in-person academics, human touch, or even life. Grief can look like sadness, anxiety, or anger. Understand how grief is affecting your mood and functioning, and share your stories of loss with others, including a mental health care professional.
  • Give grace and empathy. Remember that people have different levels of faith in the efficacy of vaccines and other safety measures. Some people will return quickly and happily into pre-pandemic behavior, while others will struggle to feel safe again. Be kind to those who approach the post-pandemic world from a different perspective than yours.
  • Integrate positive aspects of the lockdown into post-lockdown life. Many things will be changed forever, but some of these will be positive changes. While we all probably have grown tired of Zoom meetings, it might be nice to continue some pandemic pastimes (jigsaw puzzle, anyone?). Reflect on your experience and consider incorporating more time with loved ones, a greater emphasis on self-care, and a slower pace into your post-pandemic life.

For more information about campus 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.

Johnson County vaccination progress

County Population Total Doses Administered to Iowa Residents Total Doses Administered to Johnson County Residents Two-Dose Series Initiated Two-Dose Series Completed Single-Dose Series Completed % of Johnson County Residents with Two-Dose Series Initiated and Two- and Single-Dose Series Completed % of Johnson County Residents with Two- and Single-Dose Series Completed
Johnson 151,140 2,456,560 152,186 9,858 69,183 3,962 54.92% 48.40%

The University of Iowa strongly encourages students, faculty, and staff to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, in consultation with their health care provider.

Please keep in mind immunity is not achieved immediately after receiving the vaccine. It also will take time for everyone who wants to be vaccinated to receive the required doses. In the meantime, we can continue to protect ourselves and each other by wearing a mask, maintaining physical distance from others, washing our hands frequently, and avoiding indoor gatherings with others outside our household. More information about the state of Iowa’s vaccine administration is available here.

University of Iowa self-reported COVID-19 testing

These data reflect new cases since May 12, 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: 0
  • Total cases: 3,190


  • New cases: 0
  • Total cases: 498

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: 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.