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3/3/2020 6:33 PM

TO: Employees, Fayette students
SUBJECT: President’s Communication: UIU Safety Update on COVID-19 (Coronavirus) for Fayette Community

Dear Upper Iowa University Community,  


The spread of COVID-19, the new coronavirus, and the health and safety of our students and employees are a top priority at Upper Iowa University. We are working closely with the Iowa Department of Public Health and Fayette County Emergency Management to get updates to ensure we are informed of where the Coronavirus is being detected.  

Each of us is responsible for following good public health practices to minimize the spread of illness. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) recommend that the most important thing you can do to prevent getting sick is to wash your hands the right way and frequently, for at least 20 seconds. When handwashing is not available, utilize alcohol-based hand sanitizer. At UIU, alcohol-based hand sanitizer is located in dispensing units throughout University buildings. In addition:

  • Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or a tissue when you sneeze or cough.
  • Wash your hands or use alcohol hand rub immediately after coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • If you are ill, keep a safe distance from others to reduce the risk of transmitting germs.
  • If you are seriously ill, seek medical advice from your health care provider or from an emergency department.

Local and state officials suggest there is no need to change any routine activities or behaviors due to COVID-19 if you practice the previously described hygiene etiquette. Upper Iowa University will continue to take precautions, including increasing the use of disinfectant throughout campus.

The CDC recommends that employees who have symptoms of acute respiratory illness (e.g., fever, trouble breathing, consistent coughing) not come to work, “until they are free of fever (100.4° F or greater using an oral thermometer), signs of a fever, and any other symptoms for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines (e.g., cough suppressants).” Any student or employee experiencing symptoms of these nature are encouraged to call appropriate medical care to avoid unnecessarily exposing others. For UIU Students and Employees:

  • Students: Those experiencing symptoms of acute respiratory illness should refrain from going to class and limit their contact with others. Please consult the Office of Student Life if you need assistance in connecting with a local health provider.
  • All Employees: As a result of the CDC’s recommendation, Upper Iowa University is requiring that any employee who is experiencing symptoms of acute respiratory illness refrain from coming to work until the symptoms have resolved. Employees who miss time at work should consult their immediate supervisor regarding the use of benefit time.

Additionally, you are likely aware that in some cases travel is being affected by the virus outbreak. Please be aware of the following:

  • The CDC provides information about COVID-19 for travelers, including a COVID-19 risk assessment by country, on their website. Remember that this is a quickly evolving situation, and location assessments could be changed or others added. UIU strongly suggests that you plan accordingly. While there is evidence that the United States government has been repatriating citizens quarantined overseas, there is no guarantee of expediency, and these costs are generally not covered by the government.
  • You may be subject to involuntary quarantine by federal, state or local governments upon return to the United States. This applies regardless of your travel destination and is contingent upon the government’s evaluation of public health risk. This includes those traveling on foreign and U.S. passports.
  • The University cannot provide accommodations for students or employees who miss significant work or class time as a result of travel quarantine or restrictions. Please be aware of this risk if you opt to travel.
  • Those who are traveling may wish to consider the purchase of travel insurance to cover trip cancellation, disruption, and emergency medical issues.

Upper Iowa University will continue to monitor the situation and coordinate with public health officials. We will continue to communicate with the UIU community as necessary. For the most up to date national and worldwide information, please visit these websites.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
World Health Organization
Iowa Department of Public Health

Thank you for your attention to this update. If you have any additional questions or observations, please click on the links highlighted, or employees contact your immediate supervisor and students contact Student Life.


William R. Duffy II, Ed.D., Ed.S.
Upper Iowa University