UNI announces university’s first case of COVID-19


As the northeast corner of Iowa enters a virtual lockdown to stop the spread of COVID-19, the UNI community announced the university’s first case of COVID-19.

The individual was an employee who has not been on campus in over 30 days and who is currently self-isolating at home, according to a campus-wide message from President Mark Nook on April 16.

Nook emphasized that the employee had self-reported their condition to campus administration and that the reporting of this first case did not establish a precedent for further campus messages in the event of additional diagnoses among the UNI community.

“I am sending this notification to campus because this is our first confirmed case, and because this person reached out to let us know about their illness,” he wrote. “However, we do not expect to report additional confirmed cases through campus-wide messages moving forward.”

Nook’s announcement came as Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds introduced more stringent lockdown measures for Region 6 of the state, a group of 14 counties which includes Black Hawk County. Beginning at 11:59 on Thursday, April 16, citizens of these counties may gather only with members of their immediate household, and all gatherings for social, community, recreational or leisure and sporting activities will cease through April 30. The previous guidelines had permitted gatherings of fewer than ten people.

Black Hawk County also confirmed its first death from COVID-19 on Thursday. An “outbreak” of the virus at Tyson Foods Waterloo was also announced as the county reported 65 new cases, bringing the county total to 150.

Students and staff with questions or concerns were directed to the UNI COVID-19 website, prepare.uni.edu, as well as Iowa Department of Health and CDC resources.

“Our thoughts are with this member of the UNI community at this time,” Nook wrote. “Thank you for taking care of yourself and others.”