University of Iowa launches student-employee testing program, reports positive COVID-19 cases

The university will begin testing Residence Assistants as a pilot program before extending the services to other student employee groups.


Jenna Galligan

The Old Capitol is seen on Thursday, March 12, 2020.

Morgan Ungs, News Reporter

The University of Iowa will begin providing COVID-19 surveillance testing for Resident Assistants in University Housing and Dining as part of a pilot program to provide additional COVID-19 testing options for student employees.

If successful, the university will consider expanding it to other student employee groups, according to a campus-wide email sent on Wednesday. The testing, conducted by UI Student Health, will be free for students who wish to participate.

“The university is starting with a single student employee group to determine how best to manage the testing appointments and processes,” the email state. “RAs provide a critical campus function, by advising, supporting, and living alongside other UI students in the residence halls.”

The university also reported an increase of cases following Halloween weekend and the first at-home football game. As of Nov. 2, there have been 47 new self-reported cases COVID-19 on campus, with 34 students and 13 employees testing positive for the virus. 

This brings the semester-to-date totals to 2,223 students and 127 employees testing positive for the virus.

The rise in campus cases is part of the local upward increase of cases not only in Johnson County, but also Iowa. According to the Iowa Department of Public Health statistics, 15.8 percent of tests in Iowa have returned positive on average in the last 14 days.