Thursday, September 9, 2021

Dear Hawkeye faculty, staff, and students:

I once again express my deep gratitude for your continued efforts to make our university community as safe as possible. As the semester moves into full swing, I know that many in-person experiences are making campus life enriching for our students. As always, the ongoing message is that we all need to be vaccinated and mask up in the classroom and during office hours, which remain our best lines of defense against COVID-19 and our most effective ways to continue the face-to-face activities that make Hawkeye life enjoyable and inspiring. Community care and effort are key, and I am uplifted to see that happening on campus every day.

As I promised, I am sharing with you the latest information from the Iowa Department of Public Health that was released on Wednesday. In Johnson County, the seven-day rolling average of positive tests is:

  • 42 as of Sept. 7, 2021,
  •  49 one week ago, and
  • 68 on this date last year.

On campus, the seven-day rolling average of self-reported positive tests is:

  • 16 as of Sept. 7, 2021, 
  • 6 one week ago, and
  • 69 on this date last year.

Our UI Health Care admissions are stable as related to COVID-19:

  • 36 as of Sept. 7, 2021, and
  • 45 one week ago.
  • The vast majority of patients are unvaccinated (85%) and not from Johnson County (80%).

I am heartened that our metrics continue to show relatively stable and low numbers on campus and in Johnson County. My advocacy for the UI community and my consultation with faculty and student leaders, with my fellow Iowa public university presidents, and with the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, continue. I would also like to remind you of our ongoing as well as new safety protocols, which we are always working to enhance:

  • Continued weekly monitoring of wastewater for all residence halls, with no evidence of COVID-19 outbreaks to date;
  • The provision of KN95 masks for faculty and students who would like them;
  • Working with immunocompromised faculty and staff on accommodations; and
  • The creation of several videos featuring student-athletes encouraging vaccinations, including Caitlin Clark, Spencer Petras, Connor McCaffery, and Tyler Goodson.

I truly appreciate your spirit of cooperation and collaboration during this demanding time. Together, we can meet the challenge of the pandemic. I will continue to share important COVID-19 information directly with you throughout the early fall semester. 

Again, thank you for all you are doing to ensure a healthy Hawkeye community.

Barbara J. Wilson