UI reports 55 new cases of COVID-19 among students, employees

As Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a proclamation on Monday to implement additional restrictions to reduce the spread of COVID-19, the UI reports an increase of positive COVID-19 cases among the campus community.


Jenna Galligan

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

Claire Benson, News Reporter

The University of Iowa reported 55 new cases of self-reported positive COVID-19 cases, consisting of 39 new cases among students and 16 new cases among employees since Nov. 16. 

The newest addition of cases brings the semester-to-date total for students to 2,549 positive cases, and 228 positive cases for employees.

As of Nov. 16, the UI reports that there are two residence hall students currently in quarantine and 22 residence hall students who are currently in self-isolation. 

In the email with case updates sent to the campus community, the UI included an update regarding a surveillance testing pilot program that the university introduced earlier this month. This program provides additional COVID-19 testing options for student employees whose positions require a level of socially distanced, face-to-face interactions. 

The UI said the pilot program began with testing resident assistants in Housing and Dining, with the testing free for the students who volunteered to participate and conducted by Student Health.

The program was open to all RAs, and there have been 15 RAs who have volunteered to participate to date, which is about 10 percent of the total number of RAs on campus.

The university is still assessing the feasibility of expanding surveillance testing on campus, and will continue to evaluate this pilot program to determine whether it should be expanded to other student employee groups,” the UI said.

As Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a proclamation on Monday to implement additional health and safety measures to reduce the risk of spread of COVID-19, the UI said they will continue to work with local and state officials to support and implement these policies. 

“The governor’s order aligns with the UI’s existing face mask requirement,” the UI said. “As a reminder, everyone entering a university building is expected to follow CDC recommendations to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus.”

COVID-19 cases in Johnson County continue to increase. The 14-day positive case average on Nov. 18 was 1,926, up from 1,706 on Nov. 11.