Update: Revised face mask policy
The University of Iowa is revising its face mask policy to align with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) interim public health recommendations for fully vaccinated people.
Effective Thursday, May 20, 2021:
Fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask or physically distance in university buildings or on campus, except 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.
Currently, people are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after they have received the second dose in a two-dose series (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) or two weeks after they have received a single-dose vaccine (Johnson & Johnson/Janssen).
While wearing a mask is optional for those who are fully vaccinated, you should feel comfortable continuing to wear a mask if you choose.
- Currently authorized vaccines in the United States are highly effective at protecting vaccinated people against symptomatic and severe COVID-19.
- A growing body of evidence suggests that fully vaccinated people are less likely to have asymptomatic infection or transmit SARS-CoV-2 to unvaccinated people.
- Indoor and outdoor activities pose minimal risk to fully vaccinated people.
- Fully vaccinated people should still get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
- Fully vaccinated people should not visit private or public settings if they have tested positive for COVID-19 in the prior 10 days or are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
- Fully vaccinated people should continue to follow any applicable federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations.
Employees who wish to request a workplace accommodation based on a health condition should contact their local human resources representative to initiate an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accommodation review with Faculty and Staff Disability Services(FSDS).
The university will continue to monitor local and national developments and 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 CDC regarding face masks, social distancing, and other health and safety measures. Any future changes to this guidance will be communicated in a campus COVID-19 update.
Reminder: Get vaccinated now
The university strongly encourages you to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
Schedule your COVID-19 vaccination appointment with the University Employee Health Clinic by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 319-356-3631, Option 3.
To schedule your vaccination, call Student Health at 319-335-8394 for vaccine availability during summer break. Student Health currently has Pfizer BioNTech and the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccines in the clinic.
If you need a second dose of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, please call the Nurseline at 319-335-9704 to discuss arrangements.
NOTE: When you complete the COVID-19 vaccine series (both vaccines for Pfizer/Moderna, or one Johnson & Johnson), don't forget to take your vaccine card (or other vaccine record) to the IMU Welcome Center for your $10 gift card to the Iowa City Downtown merchants. These will be available to students in the summer and into the fall, while supplies last.
Vaccine update: Frequently asked questions
Can our department require employees to get a COVID-19 vaccination?
No. The university encourages employees to be vaccinated, but vaccinations are voluntary. Supervisors should avoid any communication that may be perceived to pressure, force, or coerce any employee to obtain a COVID-19 vaccination.
As a supervisor, can I ask my employee about their COVID-19 vaccination status?
No. Supervisors should not ask employees if they are vaccinated or if they plan to be vaccinated. Asking about their vaccination status may prompt disclosure of disability-related information or information regarding existing health conditions relevant to the vaccination. Supervisors should also avoid discussing an employee’s vaccination status in group meetings, group emails, etc.
If an employee chooses not to receive the COVID-19 vaccination, does that determine what work they can perform, including whether they can work on-site?
No. The COVID-19 vaccination is not mandatory at this time, and should not be a factor in assigning work, including whether someone can work on-site. When on-site, employees are required to follow University of Iowa COVID-19 safety policies.
I am not able to be vaccinated due to a health condition. What options do I have?
Employees who are not able to be vaccinated due to a health condition and who wish to request a workplace accommodation based on a health conditions should contact their local human resources representative to initiate an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accommodation review with and Faculty and Staff Disability Services (FSDS).
May I ask a co-worker or colleague about their vaccination status?
We ask that employees respect the privacy of their co-workers by refraining from asking about their vaccination status. Vaccination status is a personal matter and should be treated as such. Asking a co-worker about their vaccination status may cause them to feel pressured to share personal or private information. No one should feel this kind of pressure in the workplace. By avoiding questions regarding vaccination status, we are helping to ensure that our co-workers feel respected.
Are employees permitted to discuss their COVID-19 vaccine status among themselves?
Conversations among employees would be difficult to restrict. Supervisors should refrain from participating in employee conversations about COVID-19 vaccination status. Supervisors should also be alert to any coercive or pressuring behavior among co-workers. If this behavior is observed, supervisors are encouraged to remind the participants that the university is committed to a voluntary approach to vaccination, and that no one should feel pressured or coerced by anyone in the workplace.
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 self-reported COVID-19 testing
These data reflect new cases since May 17, 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: 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: 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.