ISU's face covering policy is revised based on new CDC guidance

May 19, 2021


Dear Iowa State Community,

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released interim public health recommendations for individuals who are fully vaccinated. This memo outlines how Iowa State University is implementing the new CDC guidance.

What does fully vaccinated mean? You are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after a single-dose vaccine (Johnson & Johnson) or two weeks after your second dose in a 2-dose series (Pfizer or Moderna).

Vaccine effectiveness and availability. According to the CDC, the COVID-19 vaccine provides you with effective protection against the virus, even if others around you have not been vaccinated. If you are vaccinated, you are at low risk of transmitting COVID-19 to others.

Iowa State University strongly encourages students, faculty, and staff to get vaccinated if they are able as this is one of the most effective ways to mitigate the virus. If you would like to get vaccinated, opportunities are widely available. Click on the state’s vaccine finder to make an appointment.

ISU’s face covering policy for summer 2021. Based on the CDC recommendations, we are making the following changes to ISU’s face covering policy, effective immediately.   

  • Wearing a face covering in most places on campus is optional for persons who are fully vaccinated. 
  • During the summer term, face coverings may be required in learning spaces or research laboratories as determined by individual faculty members.  
  • Faculty and staff in their individual enclosed smaller offices can require face coverings for themselves and visitors.  
  • Face coverings continue to be required for healthcare settings and everyone on buses (CyRide) and other forms of public transportation.

Whether someone is wearing a face covering – or is not wearing a face covering – should not be used as an indication of their vaccination status. A person who is vaccinated may choose to continue wearing a face covering for other health or personal reasons. We ask all members of the campus community to be respectful and supportive of others’ right to wear a face covering, and to not ask others about their vaccination status.

Return to Normal Occupancy. Given CDC guidance, units and offices should transition to normal occupancy in common spaces for their unit/office (e.g., break rooms, conference rooms, etc.).  Registration for summer classes was based on limited classroom density which will continue through the summer.

If you haven’t done so already, please get vaccinated. It’s one of the best ways you can show that Cyclones Care.

Wendy Wintersteen


Jonathan Wickert

Senior Vice President and Provost

Toyia Younger

Senior Vice President for Student Affairs

Pam Cain

Senior Vice President for Operations and Finance

This email was sent to all faculty, staff, and students at Iowa State and is available online at Office of the President Communications