Cases of COVID-19 continue to decline at the national, state and local levels and are forecasted to continue to do so over the next four weeks. We continue to see a similar downward trend on campus as we just posted our lowest positivity rate and second lowest infection rate of the semester. Data available through the Panther Health Survey and Student Health Center continues to indicate that our teaching and learning spaces are safe.
Protecting Students, Faculty and Staff
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. This includes:
Strongly encouraging and promoting vaccinations;
Offering supportive policies and practices to make getting vaccinated as easy as possible;
Providing on-campus vaccination for all employees and students;
Offering the Panther Health Survey to help employees and students make decisions on when to seek testing and medical care;
Encouraging employees and students with signs or symptoms of infectious illness to stay home and seek medical care;
Offering both on-campus and at-home COVID-19 testing to all employees and students through the Student Health Center;
Encouraging masks in all public indoor campus spaces;
Providing masks to all employees and students;
Cleaning and disinfecting campus in accordance with CDC guidelines utilizing products listed by the EPA as effective against COVID-19; and
Using multiple other tools including hand sanitizer, transaction barriers, ventilation, reporting, and monitoring.
Update on Vaccination Acquisition
While progress is being made, we continue to highly recommend that our community members (students, staff and faculty members) receive vaccinations. In Black Hawk County 63.5% (aged 18+), 65.9% (aged 18+) across Iowa, and 67.4% (18+ years) of the total U.S. population are fully vaccinated.
Flu Vaccine Clinics
Because some of the symptoms of flu and COVID-19 are similar, it may be hard to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone. This is one of the many reasons why we encourage everyone to get a flu vaccine this year.
Flu vaccine clinics will continue this week taking place tomorrow, October 6, at Gallagher Bluedorn from 1:00-3:30 p.m and then Thursday, October 7, in the Maucker Union Ballroom from 9:00-11:30 a.m. The full schedule of flu shot clinics available throughout October, which will be held in various locations across campus, is available online.
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.
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 email@example.com. Thanks for all that you do to keep yourself, your family and the Panther community safe.
Associate Provost for Faculty
Director of Risk Management, Environmental Health and Safety