Forward Together Update

Dear Panther Community,

This week the United States passed a sobering milestone in the COVID-19 pandemic. More Americans have now died from COVID-19 than the 675,000 estimated to have perished in the 1918 flu pandemic. More than 6,400 Iowans have died including 64 in the last week, according to data recently released by IDPH. Black Hawk County Health Department reports 330 total pandemic deaths in our own county. 

There are important differences from the 1918 epidemic, including that the US population is more than three times larger now. But another is that vaccines are widely available in this pandemic, including on campus. They are safe and highly effective at preventing hospitalization and death. We strongly encourage everyone to get vaccinated.

According to the IDPH, this week in Iowa those not fully vaccinated account for:

  • 90.0% of COVID-19 Patients in the ICU

  • 78.0% of COVID-19 Patients Hospitalized

Some good news to report: Pfizer-BioNTech released information this week that their vaccine has been found to be safe for children aged 5 to 11. The company is expected to ask the Food and Drug Administration by month’s end for authorization. 

UNI COVID-19 Dashboards

As it has since August of 2020, UNI continues to report data on the results of COVID-19 testing on campus, self-reported cases, infection rate and other information in an online public dashboard. This data is updated each Monday at noon.

The Black Hawk County Public Health Department is also reporting countywide figures for testing and other measures online

The State of Iowa is reporting statewide figures through coronavirus.iowa.gov.

Flu Vaccine Clinics

Flu vaccine clinics return to campus starting next week. Particularly with the ongoing pandemic, we strongly encourage everyone to get vaccinated for the flu. Flu can mean a few days of feeling bad with symptoms similar to COVID-19 and missing class or work or it can result in more serious illness. An annual flu vaccine is the best way to reduce the risk of flu related illnesses and hospitalization.

Faculty and staff are eligible for one free flu vaccine on-campus each year. For students, the Student Health Clinic will file a claim with your health insurance or charge $30 to those students without health insurance.

The clinics will start Wednesday, September 29 at the Rod Library from 1:30-3:30 p.m. The full schedule of flu shot clinics, which will be held across campus, is available online.

Masks will be required at the on-campus vaccination clinics. Masks will be available for those that forget to bring one. UNI provides the quadrivalent flu shot. 

Panther Health Survey

The university is continuing to use the Panther Health Survey to assist those who are:

  • Experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 (regardless of vaccination status);

  • Have been exposed to COVID-19 and are unvaccinated; or

  • Need to access COVID-19 leave.

If you fall into any of these categories please complete the survey as it helps provide relevant campus support services to those impacted by COVID-19, supports our cleaning and disinfecting efforts, and allows students to receive alternative class assignments, which are available for individual students who are unable to attend class due to COVID-related health issues. The Panther Health Survey must be completed to have faculty notified of students needing to be absent from classes. Students directed not to come to campus or who are unable to participate in class due to COVID-19 related illness, self-isolation, or quarantine should utilize the information provided in the survey. 

If you have a question, please visit forwardtogether.uni.edu or email it to forwardtogether@uni.edu. 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