COVID-19 on campus: little change in rates, Reynolds lifts restrictions


Gabi Cummings

This graphic depicts the positivity rate and number of COVID-19 cases on campus as well as other statistics regarding the ongoing pandemic.


COVID-19 cases and positivity rates remained both consistent and fairly low last week, according to data released by the UNI Student Health Center on Friday, Feb. 5 at noon.

The 33 tests conducted from Feb. 1-7 through the Student Health Center resulted in less than six positive cases, for a 6.06% campus positivity rate, virtually unchanged from the previous week’s 6.67%.

The university also reported seven self-reported cases of COVID-19, but because these self-reported cases may also be counted in the Student Health Center weekly totals, the numbers cannot be combined for a grand total.

The positivity rate may decrease slightly today when the Student Health Center updates last week’s data to include any tests conducted on Friday. Since the end-of-week updates only include data collected through Thursday, Friday numbers are added to the weekly total by noon on the following Monday and are therefore not included in the NI’s weekly analysis.

Although UNI’s COVID-19 data saw few changes, the state of Iowa’s pandemic restrictions changed drastically on Friday, Feb. 5, when Governor Kim Reynolds updated her public health emergency declaration. The update, effective Sunday, eliminated most restrictions that had been in place.

Iowans are no longer required to wear face coverings in public, as they had been since late November when Reynolds implemented a mask mandate. Additionally, businesses are not required to limit the number of customers or keep them socially distanced, and there is no longer a limit on the number of people who can gather in public.

However, many local governments still have their own mandates and declarations requiring face coverings and social distancing in public places and businesses. The Cedar Falls City Council voted in late January to extend the city’s current mandate until March 3. Waterloo’s mask mandate was extended indefinitely on Feb. 3, with Mayor Hart holding the authority to end the mandate.