Monday, May 24, 2021

International travel update

Beginning June 1, 2021, the COVID-19 special approval and routing required for faculty/staff international travel will be lifted and standard pre-pandemic travel requirements will resume.

Additional information on this process can be found in the travel section of the Coronavirus FAQ page. Faculty and staff inquiries regarding international travel can be directed to

Information for students

  • International travel is currently limited due to the coronavirus pandemic. Nonessential international travel for university purposes should be avoided to reduce the risk of contracting or spreading the virus.
  • Students may submit a high-risk travel proposal to International Programs for consideration.
  • Undergraduate study abroad program enrollments will not be approved for departures through Aug. 1.
  • Undergraduate study abroad program enrollments departing after Aug. 1 and before Aug. 15 require a high-risk travel proposal to International Programs for consideration.
  • The university will continue to monitor travel risks and modify guidelines as conditions change.

Reminder: Revised face mask policy

If you are not fully vaccinated, you are strongly encouraged to continue wearing a mask and physically distancing on campus. If you are fully vaccinated, you should feel comfortable continuing to wear a mask if you choose.

Whether or not to wear a mask is a personal decision and is often unrelated to a person’s vaccination status. Do not harass a student, visitor, or fellow employee for choosing to wear, or not wear, a mask.

At the university, we value respect and civility. Disrespectful behavior may be addressed according to the university’s ethics policies for staff and faculty. Behavior that constitutes harassment may be addressed according to the Anti-Harassment Policy. If you have questions, please contact your local human resources representative.

Masks continue to be required in health care settings and where required by state or federal guidelines (e.g., passengers on CAMBUS).

NOTE: UI Health Care has separate face covering guidelines due to patient care. For full personal protective equipment requirements for UI Health Care staff, see The Loop. In addition, the Office of the Vice President for Research has posted guidance for the research enterprise on its website.

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.

Adapting to 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 UI Hospitals & Clinics 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.

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 May 21, 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: 3,192


  • New cases: 0
  • Total cases: 499

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: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.