As COVID-19 case numbers continue to rise nationally, the pandemic is still far from over. Locally, a mask mandate was implemented throughout the Cedar Falls elementary schools this week to prevent the spread of cases.
According to coronavirus.iowa.gov as of Sept. 21, Iowa has a total of 3,633 new cases, averaging 1,811 per seven days.
The COVID-19 dashboard on campus is updated every Monday at noon to give the most accurate information to students and faculty.
Shelley O’Connell, the executive director of Student Health and Well-Being Services, could not share specifically where people were specifically getting cases. Because Black Hawk County has a high level of transmission, there is a recommendation that individuals wear masks regardless of their vaccination status.
“Case transmissions will occur in areas where people are not wearing masks and particularly for those who are unvaccinated,” O’Connell said.
Over the summer, UNI established the fall 2021 department protocols to further keep campus healthy and safe.
“The three focal areas are assessing fall staffing, preventing and reducing transmission and maintaining healthy work environments,” O’Connell said. “The university will continue to offer COVID-19 testing at the Student Health Clinic by appointment.”
The Student Health Clinic also offers Test Iowa Take Home Saliva kits, which are available at the main entrance of the Student Health Center. Those who test positive can reach the Health Center by contacting the UNI COVID-19 line, (319) 273-2100. The Student Health Clinic nurses will provide health education instructions for isolation or if they are negative but were tested because of exposure quarantine instructions are provided.
The Student Health Clinic nurses will provide health education instructions for individuals who must isolate or quarantine.
The Forward Together website is where students can find the updated case dashboard, protocols for face coverings, physical distancing, vaccinations, testing resources, what to do if a test is positive, the Panther Health Survey and other precautionary information UNI has done to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Students, faculty and others on campus can stop the spread of COVID-19 by getting vaccinated.
“They can get vaccinated, if they haven’t already, wear a mask, monitor their symptoms, and get tested if they are having symptoms,” O’Connell said.
The Student Health Center has weekly vaccination clinics on Thursdays 1-3 and Fridays 9-11. Students, faculty and staff can also call the UNI COVID line 319-273-2100 to ask questions about exposure or symptoms, and to schedule COVID-19 testing.
Lastly, O’Connell stated that everyone should be completing the Panther Healthy Survey if you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 (regardless of vaccination status) or have been exposed to COVID-19 and are unvaccinated.