Forward Together Update

Dear Panther Community,

We want to thank everyone for their efforts in keeping our campus safe. Wearing masks, physically distancing, washing your hands, reporting symptoms via the PantherHealth survey and getting tested have all been vital. The trendline on COVID-19 cases continues to be very encouraging both on campus and Black Hawk County, which has seen its test positivity rate decline to just under 6% as of this morning.

Please remember that we need to stay the course, especially now that we know a more-infectious variant is circulating in Iowa. For those attending events or celebrating Mardi Gras today, the CDC recommends doing so with the people in your household or hosting a virtual gathering.

Updated CDC Mask Guidelines

Last week, the CDC updated its mask recommendations and released a guide on the best ways to test whether your mask fits properly.

The guidelines are extensive and we encourage you to read them all, but the key points are wearing a mask that completely covers your nose and mouth and fits snugly without any gaps against the side of your face. If wearing a mask properly you should only be able to feel air exit through the front, the CDC says. 

Masks should be handled only by the ear loops or head straps and not the surface.

If you have a question, please visit or email it to Thanks for all that you do to keep yourself, your family and the Panther community safe. 

Stay Well,

John Vallentine,
Associate Provost for Faculty

Joseph Rayzor,
Director of Risk Management, Environmental Health and Safety