Our COVID-19 Response

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the University of Northern Iowa has taken numerous public health measures to help protect students, employees and guests from the spread of COVID-19. These efforts have allowed us to safely offer in-person instruction and on-campus activities. We are committed to continuing to provide educational and social activities that build strong friendships between students and personal relationships with faculty and staff.

Academic Year 2021 /2022 Plans

Our COVID-19 Plan outlines the proactive measures the university has put in place to protect students, faculty and staff and slow the spread of COVID-19.

Face Coverings

Masks are encouraged, but not required. Anyone can choose to wear a mask or other face covering on campus, though students, faculty, staff, and visitors to campus will not be required to do so. This guideline does not apply to the Student Health Center or other healthcare operations or research laboratories where a formal Environmental Health & Safety hazard assessment has determined face coverings to be necessary.

Physical Distancing

Our classrooms and other campus spaces will operate at their normal (pre-pandemic) capacity without physical distancing. This guideline does not apply to healthcare operations or research laboratories where a formal Environmental Health & Safety hazard assessment has determined physical distancing to be necessary.

Those who are not fully vaccinated are encouraged to physically distance from others when possible.


All members of the campus community are strongly encouraged to receive a vaccination against COVID-19. Vaccination is the leading prevention strategy to protect individuals from COVID-19 disease and end the COVID-19 pandemic. Current COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use in the United States are safe, effective and widely available. 

The Student Health Clinic offers COVID-19 vaccines, additional information can be found on the Vaccine Sign-up page. If you are looking for a COVID-19 vaccine off-campus, search vaccines.gov, text your ZIP code to 438829, or call 1-800-232-0233 to find locations near you.

Employees (faculty, staff, graduate assistants and student employees) can utilize the Panther Health Survey to voluntarily submit documentation of having received a COVID-19 vaccine or voluntarily submit a request for a waiver or accommodation as to any potential/future COVID-19 vaccination requirement.

Stay Home When Sick

Students, faculty, staff and visitors with signs or symptoms of infectious illness should stay home and seek medical care.

Students who need help notifying their professors if they go into quarantine or isolation should complete the Panther Health Survey, and the Dean of Students office will help you notify faculty members.

Panther Health Survey

The Panther Health Survey is a tool for faculty, staff and students to report a COVID-19 related absence and is designed to (a) provide tailored guidance to individuals based on their individual responses/circumstances and (b) facilitate providing relevant campus support services to individuals within the campus community.

In addition to those things, the information being collected through the Panther Health Survey also serves to assist the university in making decisions about our COVID-19 response. These data will be used at the aggregate level to watch trends and potential hotspots.


COVID-19 testing is available for students, faculty and staff at the Student Health Center; please call 319-273-2100 to schedule.

Isolation & Quarantine

Students, faculty, staff, and visitors to campus should follow guidance from public health officials. Students, faculty and staff can call the Student Health Clinic, 319-273-2100, if they have any questions or concerns about their health.

If you are living in a UNI residence hall and you’ve been exposed to COVID-19, or if you’ve tested positive yourself, reach out to Housing and Dining immediately. 

Cleaning and Disinfecting

UNI custodial teams will continue to clean and disinfect campus in accordance with CDC Guidelines utilizing disinfectant products from the EPA List N that are listed as effective against COVID-19.

Disinfecting wipes will be available in classrooms and common areas for individuals to utilize.

Hand Sanitizer

UNI has placed hand sanitizer stations throughout campus. The most reliable way to prevent infection from surfaces is to regularly wash hands or use hand sanitizer.


UNI will continue to take several of the steps outlined by the CDC and American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE)  to improve ventilation on campus. This includes utilizing non-recirculating air to bring more fresh air into classrooms and common spaces and installing MERV-13 filtration on our central air handling units.

Transaction Barriers

UNI has installed transaction barriers in locations where face-to face interactions frequently take place, such as our retail outlets and front desk operations.

Covid-19 Dashboards

UNI’s COVID-19 Dashboards are updated every Monday at noon. In an effort to provide the most accurate information, historical data may be updated as necessary.  


Protecting Our Panthers: News & Stories

Blake Thomas COVID story

Former UNI football player tackling disease research

Now in grad school with plans to become an epidemiologist, Blake Thomas is studying how to fight diseases that disportionately impact minoritized communities. “I want to help people,” he said.

Read Story

Maddie Johnson COVID story

Modeling COVID-19 infection

UNI physics student Madelyn Johnson is working on an infection model that examines how COVID-19 spreads through a community.

Read Story

Answering the Call COVID story

Answering the call

In the early months of the pandemic, thousands stepped up to provide personal protective equipment in the U.S., including many Panthers. Now a team of sociologists at UNI and elsewhere are researching what led to the outpouring of support.

Read Story


Questions or Suggestions?

Parents and community members—if you have questions or suggestions about our response to COVID-19, please email us at forwardtogether@uni.edu.

Students who have COVID-19 related concerns to share should email forwardtogether@uni.edu.