UI reports 74 new self-reported positive COVID-19 cases

As Thanksgiving recess approaches, the UI has encouraged students to safely socialize in the weeks leading up to it to reduce the spread of COVID-19 when students return home to family and friends.


Jenna Galligan

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

Claire Benson, News Reporter

The University of Iowa reported 54 new positive self-reported cases of COVID-19 among UI students, and 20 new positive self-reported cases among UI employees on Wednesday, Nov. 11. This recent influx in cases brings the semester-to-date total for students to 2,405 and to 176 for employees.

In addition to the recent increase in self-reported positive COVID-19 cases, the UI currently reports it has three residence hall students in quarantine and 15 residence hall students in self-isolation. 

The most recent email sent to the UI community included an update on COVID-19 cases throughout the state of Iowa, which the email said are rising at an alarming rate. The UI asked students, faculty, and staff to remain cognizant of the pandemic and continue making choices that assist in slowing the spread of COVID-19.

We need you to do your part to help flatten the curve and prevent our hospitals from becoming overwhelmed,” the UI said.

These recommendations follow a recent proclamation signed by Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds Tuesday, Nov. 10, that introduces additional public health measures aiming to reduce the recent influx of positive COVID-19 cases across the state of Iowa. The UI reported that these measures are effective today, with the university conforming to all new regulations. 

There have been over 100 cases reported in Johnson County each day since Nov. 2. 

As Thanksgiving recess approaches, the UI has continued to emphasize the importance of students’ social distancing and taking necessary precautions within the coming weeks to ensure a healthy reunion with family and friends. 

“Socializing safely this weekend could make the difference between going home for the holiday and having to stay on campus,” the UI said. “Planning to get tested for COVID-19 is not enough to keep you or your family safe because health experts warn that it may take up to 14 days to develop enough virus to test positive.”

The UI will not offer testing to all students heading home for thanksgiving through the university, though the email said testing services like Test Iowa are an option for students who wish to be tested. 

As spring semester is set to begin on Monday, Jan. 25, 2021, the UI said it will continue to have their decisions mirror those of local, state, and federal governments, as well as follow suggested guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Iowa Department of Public Health. 

As of right now, the UI plans on continuing to offer courses in both online and face-to-face instruction for the spring semester. In the event that the UI needs to adjust its health and safety protocols for the spring semester, the UI said it will share those adjustments with campus community members no later than Jan. 15, 2021.