UI reports five new COVID-19 cases, President Harreld reflects on year of COVID-19

UI President Bruce Harreld thanked the students, staff, and faculty of the university for their dedication to COVID-19 health and safety measures this past year and encouraged their further cooperation as vaccines are distributed.


Jenna Galligan

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

Claire Benson, News Reporter

The University of Iowa has reported five new positive COVID-19 cases on campus since March 15. 

Four of these cases are among the student population, bringing the total number of positive student cases this academic year to 3,037.

One case is within UI employees, raising the total of positive employee COVID-19 cases to 451 so far this academic year.

The UI said there are no residence hall students in quarantine, but there are four resident hall students in self-isolation. 

President Bruce Harreld reflected on the one year anniversary of the University of Iowa reacting to the COVID-19 crisis within the campus community in the UI’s COVID-19 campus update email this morning. 

March 17, 2020 marks the date the UI instructed all employees outside of UI Health Care to begin working remotely.

At that time, the UI had already announced that all classes would be delivered virtually for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester.

Harreld said the UI expects to hold a majority of classes in-person for the Fall 2021 semester, moving forward from the largely virtual format students and faculty are currently experiencing. 

“With more and more of us being vaccinated every day, optimism abounds that we will regather in our workplaces sooner rather than later,” Harreld said. “We are looking forward to turning all the lights on again in our classrooms, labs, studios, offices, and performance halls.”

In the update, the UI included new information regarding international travel during the pandemic. 

The Board of Regents lifted its 30-day ban on university-sponsored international travel for all faculty, staff, and students on March 11.

International travel is currently limited for students – the UI said undergraduate student travel for UI purposes will not be approved through Aug. 1.

For UI faculty and staff looking to travel internationally during this time, the UI said Harreld may authorize individual faculty and staff international travel for departures if the travel is explicitly relevant to university responsibilities.