Campus public health measures for fall semester 2021

August 10, 2021

 

Dear Iowa State Community,

We want to update you on our public health measures for campus as we near the start of the fall semester. As you read through these items, please remember that every choice you make has the potential to contribute positively to the overall health of our campus community.

Your decision, our campus health. The best decision you can make is to get vaccinated. Getting the COVID-19 vaccine is the number-one way to protect your health, and it is the best way to protect the health of your colleagues, coworkers, teammates, roommates, friends and neighbors.

Vaccination clinics. If you haven’t been vaccinated, take advantage of Thielen Student Health Center’s (TSHC) COVID-19 vaccination clinics through the end of September. Dates, times and locations (several across campus) are listed on the university’s vaccination webpage – make your appointment now. Vaccines are free and the campus clinics are open to all students, faculty and staff. To emphasize the importance of vaccines to our students, this fall semester we will be providing a gift card to each student who completes their vaccination. Please remember you cannot ask students or employees about their vaccination status.

Face masks. The Iowa Board of Regents has provided the following guidance for face masks for the regent universities:

  • Encouraged: All students, faculty, staff and visitors to campus are encouraged to wear face masks in all indoor spaces when around others. Unvaccinated individuals are encouraged to wear a face mask anywhere they are around others, and to practice physical distancing when possible.
  • Required: Face masks are required on CyRide, at Thielen Student Health Center, in areas of the College of Veterinary Medicine where face masks are normally required, and in Ames Laboratory facilities. Masks may also be required in research laboratories at the discretion of the principal investigator or lab supervisor.
  • Personal choice: Faculty, staff, students, and visitors to campus may choose to wear or not wear a face mask anywhere they deem appropriate.

No one can be required to wear a face mask, except where indicated above. Additional guidance is available on the COVID-19: Moving Forward website.

New face mask signage is available to download on the Cyclones Care website.

Classrooms, labs, offices. Classroom and lab capacities are no longer restricted and distancing cannot be required.

Public health monitoring. Iowa State’s public health team continues to monitor COVID-19 for our campus community. The team is ready to respond and provide recommendations to university leadership should we need to make changes to our current public health efforts. Any changes will be posted on the COVID-19: Moving Forward website. Iowa State's COVID-19 Public Health Data website is no longer active. You can access state and county data through the CDC COVID-19 data tracker and the Iowa Department of Public Health.

Testing. Symptomatic students should schedule an appointment for a COVID-19 test at Thielen Student Health Center (TSHC). Employees should arrange a test through their primary care provider. Free at-home test kits are available at TSHC, the Memorial Union or Union Drive Community Center, or request one through Test Iowa. Iowa State will not receive the results of the at-home testing kits. If you test positive, please follow CDC isolation protocols.

Isolation and quarantine housing. The Department of Residence (DOR) will continue to provide isolation and quarantine housing in Linden Hall, for students that live in DOR housing. The public health team will notify DOR of positive cases of COVID-19 that require mandatory isolation or quarantine. 

Notifications. As the COVID-19 pandemic has shifted, Iowa Department of Public Health guidance has transitioned to reduced case investigation and contact tracing. Accordingly, Iowa State is no longer providing case investigation or contact tracing for the campus community. If you test positive or need to quarantine according to CDC guidance, it’s your responsibility to contact your instructor or supervisor and make arrangements for class or work. Faculty will not be notified of students in their class who test positive and should follow their standard absence policies.

Show how Cyclones Care. You can support the health of the ISU community by caring for yourself and showing kindness to each other. Please continue to show how Cyclones Care. This fall the pillars of Cyclones Care focus on: Vaccinate. Monitor your health. Stay home if you’re ill. Wash your hands often. For many, the pandemic has also taken a toll on mental health. Please consider the resources available for students and faculty and staff to prioritize overall wellbeing.

Town Hall. Mark your calendar for Thursday, Aug. 19 for a faculty and staff virtual town hall discussion with Dr. Dan Fulton, infectious disease expert with McFarland Clinic and Les White, director of Story County Public Health. More information will be shared in the coming days in Inside Iowa State.

We continue to actively monitor changes in the COVID-19 pandemic and meet regularly to discuss where we stand. Your health and wellbeing are important to us and we continue to work on initiatives that support the entire campus. Throughout the fall semester, we will post updates and news to the COVID-19: Moving Forward website. We ask that you bookmark this page and reference it often.

Wendy Wintersteen

President

Jonathan Wickert

Senior Vice President and Provost

Toyia Younger

Senior Vice President for Student Affairs

Pam Cain

Senior Vice President for Operations and Finance

Erin Baldwin

Associate Vice President for Student Health and Wellness and Director of Thielen Student Health Center

P.S., We have some familiar faces and campus celebrities helping us promote our vaccination efforts. Be sure to follow @CycloneHealth on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook and share. 

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