Thursday, September 23, 2021

Dear Hawkeye faculty, staff, and students:

We are well into the fall semester, and every day our students tell me they are so grateful to be back on campus.  Thankfully, our collective collaboration and commitment are working to keep our COVID situation stable.  To keep our campus experience on track, our best lines of defense against the virus remain: we all need to be vaccinated and to mask up in the classroom and during office hours. 

Here is the latest weekly 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:

  • 50 as of Sept. 21, 2021,
  • 55 one week ago, and
  • 21 on this date last year.

On campus, the seven-day rolling average of self-reported positive tests, which is coordinated with Johnson County Public Health, is:

  • 7 as of Sept. 21, 2021, 
  • 10 one week ago, and
  • 16 on this date last year.

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

  • 44 as of Sept. 21, 2021, and
  • 42 one week ago.
  • The vast majority of patients are unvaccinated (85%) and not from Johnson County (80%).

Ongoing safety protocols remain in place as well, including: 

  • Weekly monitoring of wastewater for all residence halls, with no evidence of COVID outbreaks to date;
  • The delivery of over 35,000 KN95 masks for faculty and students who would like them;
  • Maintaining additional leave benefits for many of our employees if they become sick or if they are caring for a family member who is sick; and
  • Working with immunocompromised faculty and staff on accommodations.

In addition, our undergraduate student government just announced a series of prizes and incentives to further increase our already high vaccine rate among students.  

As always, I am gratified by the spirit of teamwork you demonstrate every day, and I thank you for all you are doing to ensure a healthy Hawkeye community.

Barbara J. Wilson