UI employees directed to work remotely

In an effort to reduce community spread of COVID-19, UI employees outside of UI Health Care have been directed to work remotely, if possible. An email was sent out to UI students, faculty, and staff following Gov. Reynolds’ issue of a State of Public Health Disaster Emergency Tuesday.


Emily Wangen

The Old Capitol is seen on Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019.

Annie Fitzpatrick, News Reporter

University of Iowa leadership has directed all employees outside of UI Health Care to work remotely, in response to Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds’ issue of a State of Public Health Disaster Emergency, which became effective Tuesday at noon.

In an email sent out to faculty, staff, and students Tuesday afternoon, UI Chief Human Resources Officer and Associate Vice President Cheryl Reardon said that many UI employees are able to complete their work remotely, and the change will “support social distancing and reduce the threat of spread for everyone.”

Reardon said in the email that working from home will also reduce the risk of community spread of COVID-19 to those performing essential services on campus. Such services include patient care, public safety, research continuity, and critical operational support, she said.

As previously reported by The Daily Iowan, the number of COVID-19 cases in the state of Iowa has reached 23. Of the total confirmed cases, 15 are in Johnson County. One of those in Johnson County is a case where the source of the infection is unknown, called “community spread.” 

RELATED: Iowa governor declares public-health disaster emergency amid COVID-19 spread, closing bars and restaurants

Leaders in the colleges and vice presidential units are also working with University Human Resources to identify areas where UI students and staff can be reassigned for additional help and resources, the DI previously reported.

An email to UI students and staff on Monday said that reassigned employees would help with operations related to necessary life, health, and security on the UI campus.

Tuesday’s email also requested that UI employees speak with their supervisors as soon as possible to make sure they have access to the necessary equipment and support for working from home. 

Human Resources leaders from different departments are working with UI leaders from colleges and vice presidential units to identify staff and student employees performing non-critical work that may be reassigned. 

UI staff in the email encouraged students to reach out to the Employee Assistance Program in regards to any stress or anxiety that may result from these changes.