Campus public health measures for fall semester 2021


The Office of the President releases new information regarding masks, vaccinations and how the fall 2021 semester will look.

Kelly Snawerdt

The Office of the President sent out an email this afternoon releasing the most updated information of what to expect regarding COVID-19 for the upcoming fall semester. 

The email stated that the best decision students can make is to get vaccinated, as receiving the COVID-19 vaccine is the number one way to protect individual health along with the health of peers, colleagues, teammates, roommates, friends and neighbors. 

If students have not yet received a vaccine, they are encouraged to take advantage of the Thielen Student Health Center’s COVID-19 vaccination clinics that will take place through September. The email stated that information regarding dates, times and location can all be found here where individuals can also sign up for an appointment now. The vaccinations are free and open to all students, staff and faculty.

In an effort to help increase vaccination rates at the university, Iowa State will also be offering a gift card to each student who completes their vaccination. The email also stated that asking about vaccination status from students or employees is not permitted.

Regarding face masks, the Iowa Board of Regents has stated that it is encouraged that all students, faculty, staff and visitors to campus wear face masks in all indoor spaces when around others. Unvaccinated individuals are encouraged to wear face masks anywhere they are around others, and to practice physical distancing when possible.

Where face masks are required include on CyRide transportation, at Thielen Student Health Center, in areas of the College of Veterinary Medicine where face masks are normally required, and in Ames Laboratory facilities. Masks may also be required in research laboratories at the discretion of the principal investigator or lab supervisor.

The email said that faculty, students, staff and visitors to campus may choose to wear masks or not wear masks anywhere they deem appropriate and no one can be required to wear a face mask except where specifically indicated.

Classroom and lab capacities are no longer restricted and social distancing can no longer be required.

The email continued on to say that Iowa State’s public health team will monitor COVID-19 for our campus community and the team is ready to respond and provide recommendations to university leadership should they need to make changes to the current public health efforts. Any changes made will be found hereIowa State’s COVID-19 Public Health Data website is no longer active, but state and county COVID-19 data can be accessed on the CDC Covid data website.

Students experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should schedule a testing appointment at TSHC, and employees should schedule tests through their primary care physician. Free at-home test kits will also be available at TSHC, the Memorial Union or the Union Drive Community Center. Iowa State will not be receiving the results of the at-home test kits. If you test positive, please follow CDC isolation protocols.

The email stated that isolation and quarantine housing will still be available at Linden Hall for students that live in Department of Residence housing. The public health team will notify DOR of positive cases of COVID-19 that require mandatory isolation or quarantine. 

On Thursday, Aug. 19 there will be a virtual town hall discussion with Dr. Dan Fulton, infectious disease expert with McFarland Clinic and Les White, director of Story County Public Health. More information will be shared in the coming days in Inside Iowa State.